(BLUEFIELD)—Created just over one year ago, “BSC Cares” has taken part in nearly 60 programs throughout the region. The Bluefield State College-based program, funded by a $100,000+ Substance and Mental Health Administration (SAMSHA) grant, has engaged audiences in a variety of ways, ranging from exhibits at community events to creative programs designed to engage and educate attendees.
A Suicide Prevention and Awareness Club at BSC gives students input and strategies for expanding communication with their peers, according to BSC Cares project director Rebekah Hatch. “This student organization has been instrumental in opening the door for collaboration with Bluefield College to promote strategies for both suicide prevention and awareness,” she observed.
BSC Cares utilizes a “Wheel of Wellness” that program participants spin. The result—audiences are engaged, in a nonthreatening way, about suicide prevention and mental health topics. Outreach to community in year one includes programs and displays at area high schools, career fairs, wellness and resource fairs, Better Living Show and Women’s Expo.
Among the featured activities in BSC Cares’ second year is an October 15 presentation by nationally recognized suicide prevention speaker Kevin Hines. Hines attempted to take his life in September, 2000 by leaping from the Golden Gate Bridge. At BSC, he will share his story and provide a critical bridge of hope for people caught in the pain of living with serious mental illness or difficult life circumstances. “We are thrilled that Kevin will be coming to the area,” Hatch added. “He shares an important message about coping and seeking support networks to help us through a crisis. We wholeheartedly welcome everyone to this event.” The program at Bluefield State College is open to both the college community and community-at-large. (Monday, 15 October 2018, 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM, Brown Gilbert Basic Science Auditorium).
To learn more about BSC Cares and/or suicide awareness and prevention, visit (suicidepreventionlifeline.org) or contact Rebekah Hatch (304-327-4540, firstname.lastname@example.org). The BSC Cares program office is located in room 316, Conley Hall at Bluefield State College.