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Reaching out to students in crisis

For many students, the college experience can be unbearably stressful. Academic pressure, separation from the family and a sense of vulnerability can all lead to a mental-health crisis. And for this generation of young adults, they’ve also had to contend with a stifling once-in-a-century pandemic.

To help students better understand these mounting pressures and how to deal with them, the University of Utah’s College of Engineering, College of Law and the University Counseling Center are hosting a talk with Salt Lake City-based author and mental wellness advocate, Lark Dean Galley, whose own 19-year-old son died by suicide in 2019.

Lark Galley

The free event, which is part of Suicide Prevention Month in September, will be held Sept. 8 from 3 to 5 p.m. in the S.J. Quinney College of Law Moot Courtroom (Level 6), 383 South University Street. Tables will be set up outside the courtroom with representatives from various university mental health resources. (Galley will be available for media interviews at 2:30 p.m. before the event and immediately after.)

Author of the book, Learning to Breathe Again: Choosing to Heal After Losing a Loved One to Suicide, Galley will talk about her own family experiences dealing with suicide, which include not only her son’s death, but also her father’s suicide five years prior. She will also touch on a variety of solutions to help deal with mounting pressures including:

  • Adjusting your perspective to one of hope when life doesn’t go as planned.
  • Supporting someone who is struggling with thoughts of suicide.
  • Knowing how your actions affect your outcomes.
  • Improving your social life in three dynamic ways.
  • Accepting responsibility for what you control and living a more stress-free life.

According to a recent survey by the American College Health Association, 48% of college students reported moderate to severe stress, and one in four had considered suicide.

The University of Utah has a wide variety of mental health resources available to help students in crisis, including individual, group and couples counseling, self-guided meditations, self-help resources, as well as crisis appointments and low-cost psychiatric medication management.

For a list of the resources available to students through the U, visit studentaffairs.utah.edu/mentalhealth/.