Colorado has one of the highest suicide rates in the country with a record of 1,175 deaths by suicide in 2017, according to the Colorado Health Institute. The Colorado School of Mines’ chapter of Alpha Phi Omega believes that the conversation around mental health and suicide prevention must continue with a raised volume because “Silence Isn’t Golden.”
Alpha Phi Omega (commonly known as APO) is an international, co-ed service fraternity with the Mu Pi chapter at Colorado School of Mines. The first full week of November has been designated as National Service Week by APO. The goal of National Service Week is to unify chapters with a national theme, inspire expansion of their service programs, and increase the impact they have on the communities they serve. Mu Pi takes National Service Week very seriously, its members passion for service and community showing through immensely.
Sofia Gamba, this year’s National Service Week Chair for Alpha Phi Omega Mu Pi, says that her past experience with National Service Week has included lots of hard work, but it has been worthwhile. “It impacts a lot of people,” Sofia believes. Last year, the theme was Suicide Prevention on Campus. Sofia believes that APO really helped continue the conversation of mental health and suicide prevention at Colorado School of Mines.
Many groups on campus and in the community work towards mental health awareness and suicide prevention. Kathryn Whitfield, the Advisory Chair for Alpha Phi Omega Mu Pi, states that Mu Pi sees their main focus as fostering more public and collaborative conversations and efforts. With the Colorado state and Colorado School of Mines’ statistics, it is a cause close to the heart of many, and APO is proud to be a part of those continuing the conversation.
This year for National Service Week, APO has partnered with many organizations on- and off-campus to organize a week of events with the theme of Suicide Prevention in the Community from November 4th through November 10th. Some of the partnering organizations include the
CSM Counseling Center, Jefferson Center for Mental Health, Rotary Club of Golden, City of Golden, CSM Division of Student Life, CSM Be Well, and Golden High School Source of Strength. The events are aimed at bringing the Golden community together in conversation to work towards overcoming mental health stigmas and stopping suicide.
Sofia remembers one of the events, Change Yo’ Stigma, being very popular last year. It involves students recognizing a negative stigma about themselves that they hold. Participants take a photograph showing the stigma, and others post notes on the photos to neutralize the stigma. Change Yo’ Stigma and many other events will be open to the campus and Golden community during National Service Week, November 4th through the 10th..
On top of the events held all week, APO is also doing an online fundraising campaign to raise funds for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The goal of the campaign is to raise at least $1,175 in honor of the 1,175 Coloradans lost to suicide in 2017. The online fundraising campaign can be found at www.aponsw.org.
Most events are open to the public, but some do require registration. Be sure to check the schedule of events, the Daily Blast, and www.aponsw.org for event details, registration, volunteer information, fundraising, and more.
For More Information Contact:
National Service Week Chair Alpha Phi Omega Mu Pi
Alpha Phi Omega Mu Pi