Criminal Justice Student Association breaks the silence


Jeremy romo
Photo by Romane Donadini
Officer Jeremy Romo talks about the importance of seeking help for those who contemplate suicide.

Geddy Avery | Graphic Designer
Published February 18, 2015; 7 p.m.

Tea candles lit Jelkyll Theater as the Criminal Justice Student Association hosted a local law enforcement officer trained in responding to individuals at risk of suicide. Audience members placed more than 30 candles on the stage, marked with names and relationships of those they knew who had been affected by suicide.

The officer spoke on his experiences with suicide in law enforcement and how he had been trained to respond to those considering suicide. He stated his opinion on the need for education about mental illness in our society.

Relating some stories about his encounters with those who were attempting to complete suicide, he informed the audience of basic ways to recognize those who are contemplating suicide and the importance to get those at risk professional help.

The officer urged those present to challenge the stigma about mental illness in their daily lives, and to organize a campus event of Mental Health First Aid, a national group that provides basic training on how to respond to mental illness, self-harm and suicidal warnings.

After his presentation, several individuals presented poetry and performances dealing with their experiences of suicide. Members of CJSA provided a handout with suicide-awareness hotlines. They included information on the Student Counseling and Resource Center at 636-627-2928, Behavioral Health Response at 314-469-6644 and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.