James Madison University

Counseling Students Show Support for Suicide Prevention

PHOTO: Counseling students

On Saturday October 23rd, 2010, members of James Madison University’s Chi Sigma Iota Honor Society (CSI) participated in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Out of the Darkness Walk in Winchester, VA. Seven JMU students and significant others drove to Winchester and joined approximately 100 other walkers at the event. Many of the walkers had lost family members or friends to suicide and found this event to be personally important and a powerful display of unity in a community that is often plagued with feelings of shame and isolation.

Over $8,000 was raised to support AFSP’s prevention, outreach, and support programs for survivors of suicide and those at risk. CSI was the top fundraising team, raising $1,550 in donations from family, friends, fellow students, and faculty members. Bake sales were held to raise money for this cause, and in a sweet show of solidarity, members of not only the Counseling Program, but other programs in the Departments of Graduate and Undergraduate Psychology came to show their support. Emily Kibler, a third year in the School Counseling program and CSI member, was the top fundraiser for our group and the third highest fund-raiser for the walk.

CSI will host an Out of the Darkness Campus Walk on April 30, 2011 here in Harrisonburg. If you are interested in participating as a walker, donating to the cause, or helping with the walk, please contact: Lisa Ellison ellis2la@dukes.jmu.edu or Ashley Smith smith7am@gmail.com. You can register for this event by clicking on the following link: http://afsp.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.eventDetails&eventID=1286