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'Hope Week' to focus on mental health
Barton Mental Health Counselor Jakki Maser
Barton Mental Health Counselor Jakki Maser

Barton Community College’s Student Services office will lead a campus-wide celebration nurturing positive mental health, depression awareness and suicide prevention from October 21-25. The featured event is a presentation at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 24 in the Fine Arts Auditorium by Michele Hansen (LPC, LMAC) and Jim Yoder (Wichita Support Group Facilitator). A suicide loss tribute performance by the Barton Dance Team will precede the presentation.

The presentation is titled “A Conversation - True Stories of Suicide and How to Help Survivors in the Aftermath.” Both presenters have experienced the loss of a loved one to suicide. The program is designed to leave the audience with facts, practical therapeutic interventions and hands-on activities that may help individuals and families overcome the devastating effects of suicide. 

Barton Mental Health Counselor Jakki Maser said her team created Hope Week to come together as a campus and remind everyone that they are not alone and that we all struggle.

“I’ve had countless students tell a similar story where they were struggling with stress or mental illness, but then they would attribute their reason for still being here to one person; maybe an instructor, coach, or peer, who motivated them to push through,” she said. “So, we asked ourselves, ‘If one person can make such a tremendous difference, how can we encompass that idea and create a movement on campus where we are all letting each other know that when you are here, you are more than just a number? There are people here who care about you.”

Schedule is as follows: 

Oct. 21 - “Wellness Day” - 7 a.m. or 4:30 p.m. - outdoor yoga at between the Learning Resource Center and the Union; Drum Circle at noon in the same location.

Oct. 22 - “Get Screened & Get Social Day” - 11 a.m to 1 p.m. - Mental Health Screening Handouts, Mix-it- Up at Lunch Event. 

Oct. 23 - “Express Yourself Day” - “Color the Circle” sidewalk chalk activity at the Union. 

Oct. 24 - “Suicide Prevention Day” - “A Conversation - True Stories of Suicide & How to Help Survivors in the Aftermath” at 6 p.m. in the Fine Arts Auditorium.