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Archival News Release
This News Release is outdated and posted here for archival purposes only.​​​​

April 16, 2014

College to Host Suicide Prevention & Awareness Event on April 29 & 30

The College of the Canyons Student Health & Wellness Center will host a Suicide Prevention & Awareness Event designed to provide students and community members with access to important mental health resources, while bringing attention to the staggering amount of college students who die by suicide each year.

The two-day event will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 29, and Wednesday, April 30, in the COC Valencia campus Honor Grove.

At the event staff from the college’s Student Health & Wellness Center and other local mental health agencies will be present to distribute information about suicide prevention/awareness, coping with depression and how to access other key mental health care resources, both on campus and in the community.

As a visual representation of the social issue of suicide, the Honor Grove will also be filled with 1,100 lanterns — each representing a college student that has died by suicide in the United States during the past year.

At 5 p.m. on the evening of April 29, those lanterns will be illuminated and left on display through the night to provide students, college staff and community members with a thought-provoking visual representation.

“To hear the number 1,100 is shocking, but to see it visually represented can have a dramatic impact on the viewer, and hopefully help spread awareness about the steps that can be taken to prevent future suicides,” said Dr. Frances Willson, Ph.D., clinical psychologist at the college’s Student Health & Wellness Center.

In addition, guest speaker Kathleen Snyder will deliver a presentation about suicide prevention and awareness from 1 to 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 29, in Aliso Hall, Room 101.

Snyder has more than 25 years of experience in the field, training gatekeepers and first responders on issues related to suicide prevention, intervention, postvention, crisis response, loss, depression and asset development. 

“The information and resources being provided at this event, while focused on college students, apply to everyone,” said Willson. “Many people will never seek out the help they need because of the stigma attached to it. Hopefully events like this will help change that.

“Reaching out to help yourself, or to help someone else, will never do more harm than good,” added Willson.

These events are made possible with grant funding provided by the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA) and the voter-approved Mental Health Act (Prop 63). 

CalMHSA is an organization of county governments working to improve mental health outcomes for individuals, families and communities. Prevention and Early Intervention programs implemented by CalMHSA are funded through the voter-approved Mental Health Services Act (Prop 63).  

Prop. 63 provides the funding and framework needed to expand mental health services to previously underserved populations and all of California’s diverse communities.

For more information about the college’s Suicide Prevention & Awareness Event please visit or call (661) 362-3259

California Mental Health Services Authority