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Suicide Prevention Activity

Hosted by: Student Leadership and Involvement and the Center for Student Mental Health and Well-being at Michigan Tech

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Please briefly describe your Communities Talk activity.

Our event featured a speaker from the Catalyst agency who excels in helping to develop leaders in uncertain times. The speaker was an experienced educator with a demonstrated history of applying creative services to leadership development, well-being, and problem-solving. The event contained information about how to improve overall well-being and touched on specific topics like suicide prevention and alcohol and other drug use and prevention. During the presentation we took a deep dive into understanding reality and urged the audience to examine assumptions in their life—and what they are willing to do to create change for the better. This event was open to the Michigan Tech community.

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How does underage drinking and substance misuse affect your community?

The last few years have been hard on our campus community when it comes to substance misuse and suicide. The Greek community approached its departmental office and the Office of Student Health and Well-Being and asked for a speaker to come in and talk with its community. Our offices collaborate on training and in the past have asked the students what they would like to see, so this activity was something we were very open to hosting. With help from the Communities Talk stipend, we were able to bring in a speaker and promote the event.

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What goal(s) did you hope to accomplish with your Communities Talk activity?

  • Reduce prevalence of underage drinking and other substances in community
  • Foster collaboration between community stakeholders for continued underage drinking and substance use prevention activities
  • Awareness and enforcement of social host laws) to support prevention of underage drinking
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Who did you involve in your activity planning, and who did your activity impact?

The offices involved were Student Leadership and Involvement, Greek Life, and Student Health and Well-being. We all worked together to choose the speaker and shared the cost of bringing in the speaker and getting the poster printed. Our audience was Michigan Tech Greek Life, but the event was open to anyone who wanted to attend.

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Which Communities Talk resources (or other SAMHSA resources) were most helpful for your activity?

  • StopAlcoholAbuse.gov website
  • Communities Talk website
  • Communities Talk planning guides
  • Communities Talk toolkits
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Did the COVID-19 pandemic affect the planning or execution of your activities?

Our event was not impacted by COVID-19.

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What other challenge(s) did you face in planning your activity this year?

  • Change in organizational structure or staff
  • We experienced some changes to our organizational structure/staff during our planning process.
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How did you overcome these challenges?

We kept the students involved throughout the entire process. So, even when staffing changes were happening professionally, the students were able to keep the conversation going.

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What are your next steps?

  • Host follow-up meetings or activities
  • Expand our coalition with new partnerships in the community

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