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'Not another Aggie': Pinwheels on A&M campus promoting suicide awareness

Posted at 4:58 PM, Sep 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-07 20:50:42-04

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Suicide Awareness Kick-Off Week is happening on campus at Texas A&M.

The Suicide Awareness and Prevention Office recognizes the need to raise awareness of resources and reduce the stigma of suicide.

A visual message alongside a crowded area shows support.

There are 1,100 pinwheels displayed on campus now until Friday and they represent a college student who dies by suicide each year.

It's a sea of teal and purple... twirling in the wind.

"Even though it hasn't personally affected me" said Mat Smith, a junior at Texas A&M. "I am not ignorant to the fact that it could,"

While derived from plastic, the message of these pinwheels are far from disposable.

"I know me...personally... I have had my trials... as well as everyone else. I think people are a lot more open to talking about it. It's great this is being presented on campus," Smith added.

"It's really been a great way to create passive education on our campus and we are hoping that by it being on this week, it will encourage more folks to show up and be a part of our event tonight," Santana Simple, Assistant Director, Counseling Services Center, Texas A&M said.

Active Minds and CAPS both partnered up to display these pinwheels for thousands of Aggies to see.

"This is kind of our way of paying honor to those students and them being a part of that," Simple added.

Death by suicide is the second leading cause of death in college students.

"1100 college students... that averages about 3 students a day who die by suicide nationally," Simple shared.

"Anyone that is struggling with any depression or anxiety.. they shouldn't be alone in their thoughts because that is a very lonely place. The mind is not your friend. So Texas A and M is definitely providing those opportunities to speak out and seek help," Smith added.

For a campus like the size of Texas A&M, Simple says national data tells them they will lose around 4 to 5 students each year by suicide.

"We, unfortunately, do kind of fall right into that mark. It definitely does impact our campus. We have lost students to suicide." Simple added. "There is hope. There are people on this campus that care. Not just the counseling center, but your fellow students who write messages of hope and make signs. They are there."

A reminder people are around who can help and who want to.

"....and that can be lifesaving," Simple shared.

A message saying 'Not another Aggie'.

Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at Rudder Plaza, a kick-off event will happen where you can take part in a variety of activities, including writing on the reasons for living board, make posters with messages of hope and interact with campus and local resources.

The Suicide Awareness Walk will begin at 8 p.m., where everyone is welcome to join.

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