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TWC to hold suicide awareness walk

The Tennessee Wesleyan College chapter of Psi Chi International Honor Society will host a suicide awareness walk on Monday, October 19.

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The Tennessee Wesleyan College chapter of Psi Chi International Honor Society will host a suicide awareness walk on Monday, October 19. The event will be at 7:00 p.m. on the TWC quad in front of Townsend Auditorium. The event will feature guest speakers, sharing opportunities, prayer partners, a memory table and a walk.

TWC graduate Eddie Jones started this event three years ago to help promote awareness and provide a place for discussion and sharing. Jones, who lost his father as a teen, will return to participate in the walk and hopes to spread awareness and hope.

“I feel that suicide is a major issue in today’s society, and it is more frequent than people think,” Jones said. “We’re all affected by it in some way.”

Current Psi Chi President Haley Ouellette believes this event will help remove the negative stigma associated with suicide and will provide hope and community to those whose lives have been impacted by suicide.

“It’s something we need to have because a lot of people don’t really think about it,” Ouellette said. “It has made us realize it’s something that needs to be talked about. This is an event that brings everybody together to say we’ve got your back and we understand.”

The walk focuses heavily on community, providing attendees the opportunity to share their stories and join together in prayer and reflection. This year’s theme is “out of hope, there is light,” focusing on community support and providing hope to those in need. Jones understands firsthand the importance of community support and believes this event will provide hope and expand awareness of the impact suicide has on the world.

“The event is important to promote awareness for people who have gone through suicide or had thoughts of suicide to explore that and have discussions of it. The more we talk about it, the easier it will become to talk about it. We have to get away from the negative stigma of talking about suicide,” Jones said. “I hope someone who has been touched by suicide will know they are not alone. When my dad passed away, I’d never felt more alone in my life. The only people who understand are people who have been there. I hope that we can show that people are not alone.”

Psi Chi has partnered with the TWC Education Angels, the TWC Human Services Club, The Community, Sigma Kappa and Alpha Xi Gamma sororities to hold this event. The event will begin at 7:00 p.m. on the TWC quad with guest speakers, including Jones, TWC Professor of Human Services Linda Garza and TWC Director of Residence Life Jo Baldwin. Attendees will be invited to share their experiences and bring items such as photos or other memories for the memory table. The event will conclude with a walk around campus, featuring candlelight bags to share memories. Light refreshments will be served.

For more information about this event, contact Dr. Kerry Towler, Psi Chi faculty advisor, at ktowler@twcnet.edu or 423-746-5257.

Tennessee Wesleyan College, founded in Athens, Tenn., in 1857, is a comprehensive liberal arts institution affiliated with the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church. The college’s dedicated faculty and staff believe in providing the resources and support students need to become socially responsible, intellectually skilled and spiritually developed members of our community. For additional information about Tennessee Wesleyan College, visitwww.twcnet.edu, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TNWesleyan, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TNWesleyan.