North Carolina Newspapers

Suicide and Prevention
Ellen Cleary, Staff Writer & Laura Douglass, Layout Editor
since we’ve been fighting
With all the dangers in today’s society,
suicide still makes up a major portion of the
death rate in America. According to The Cen
ter of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
41,149 people committed suicide in 2013, mak
ing it the loth leading cause of death in the
United States. There are many resources avail
able for people who feel that suicide is their
only option.
Veterans commit suicide at a higher
rate than the civilian population in America.
According to Time magazine, 22 veterans com
mit suicide each day. That’s more than double
the rate of the typical population.
Sen. Johnny Isakson R-GA told Stars
and Stripes, “When you have 8,000 veterans a
year committing suicide—which is more than
have died in all of Iraq and all of Afghanistan
then you have a seri
ous problem and this is emergency legislation
that we need to pass to help our veterans.”
And pass they did. This month, the Unit
ed States Senate passed the Clay Hunt Suicide
Prevention for American Veterans Act. This law
will create a network for veterans to reach out
to one another. It also contains initiatives for
psychiatric doctors to work with veterans and
more over watch of the VA to help improve
quality of care.
While veteran suicide has gained atten
tion recently, suicide on college campuses hits
even closer to home. There has been a rising
number of suicides on North Carolina’s own
Appalachian State University campus. Since the
beginning of this school year, four out of nine
student deaths are or (based on certain police
statements) appear to be suicides.
While the deaths have all occurred
close together time wise, they do not appear
to be connected, according to the ASU Police
Chief. According to High County Press, Dr.
Dan Jones, ASU’s counseling center director,
has stated that “a number of universities have
lost students in a short span of time” and “we
are no exception.” Dr. Allen O’Barr, director
of counseling and psychology at UNC Chapel
Hill, has commented that their campus went
through a similar issue a decade ago, and NYU
experienced it in 2003. He also said that UNC
went through a policy review and didn’t find
anything wrong with their policies themselves,
referencing the fact that ASU is probably going
through a similar thing. Blaming the problem
on Appalachian and its policies is not truly jus
Following the recent events, Erin
Griffith, an App State student, commented:
“As a student, I feel like I am a part of a tight-
knit family at App. I feel safe on this campus
and firmly believe that Appalachian has suffi
cient resources for myself and other students.”
When asked how she feels that the campus has
handled the tragedies, Griffith responded, “Stu
dents have come together across campus to cre
ate and attend events regarding positivity and
suicide awareness. A lot of emails have been
sent out by bur chancellor and extra hours are
being offered at the counseling center.”
Suicide remains a problem, and it’s im
portant to know that you are not alone and that
someone cares about you. The national suicide
prevention lifeline is 1 (800) 273-8255. Mer
edith offers counseling services on campus. The
counseling center can be found at 208 Carroll
Hall or reached at (919) 760-8427.
Ukrainian Crisis Reaches New Ceasefire Agreement
Monique Kreisman, News Editor
The conflict between the
Ukrainian government and pro-
Russian separatists has lasted sev
eral years and has cost many lives.
The ceasefire agreement signed
last week comes after a long strug
gle for peace.
Since 2013, Ukrainians
have protested then-President
Yanukovych’s attempts to ally the
country closer to Russia. In Febru
ary of 2014, the protests became
very violent, and more than 80
people were killed in Kiev. A few
days later, the Ukrainian Parlia
ment voted to remove President
Yanukovych and hold new elec
tions. In March of 2014, Crimea
was absorbed into the Russian
Federation, and President Obama
asked Russia to move back its
troops. In May, Petro Poroshenko
was elected President of Ukraine,
and President Obama support
ed bim. Tbe next month, the EU
signed an association agreement
with Ukraine, also showing its sup
port. On July 30, a Malaysia Air
lines flight from Amsterdam was
shot down over land controlled by
pro-Russian rebels. The incident
was widely covered in the me
dia internationally, and the U.S.
soon announced sanctions against
Russia. In September, a truce be
tween Ukraine and the separatists
was signed, and over the next two
months, Russian troops were with
However, in Novem
ber, Russian troops re-entered
Ukraine. Fighting particularly
centered around Donetsk’s air
port and the port city of Mariupol,
which is strategically important
geographically. In Jan. 2015, peace
talks were scheduled, but fighting
continued. The U.S. loaned money
■ '■ ’ ' ‘
to Ukraine, and several countries
considered supplying Ukraine with
On Feb. 12, 2015, a new
ceasefire agreement was signed in
Minsk, Belarus, by Russia, Ukraine,
Germany, and France. The agree
ment includes, among other provi
sions, amnesty and release of hos
tages, international humanitarian
aid, and a deadline for Ukrainian
Via (Jetty images
constitutional reform. Also on Feb.
12, the International Monetary
Fund offered a $40 billion bailout
package for Ukraine, with the con
tingencies that the country reduce
government spending and corrup
tion. Although previous ceasefire
agreements have failed, there is
hope that this one will succeed in
reinstating peace in Ukraine.
Angels Moving Forward
Kristen Lawhorne, Staff Writer
Every year, one out of three students
experience some sort of loss in their life. Many
students suffering from grief feel alone, help
less, and overall unsupported. It is for that rea
son campuses nationwide have created a club
called AMF, otherwise known as Actively Mov
ing Forward. These clubs were created by stu
dents to help support students.
At Meredith College, there is a club
called Angels Moving Forward. The overall
goal of the club is to help comfort students by
offering love, support, understanding, and ac
ceptance. I myself am a member of the club.
My dad bas congestive heart failure. Without
support, students cannot successfully get over
Ms. Beth Meier, director of the counsel
ing center, is the club advisor. For Ms. Meier,
the purpose of the club is to “bring everyone
together and give support to those that need
it.” Club President Tociana Watley says that the
club will meet every other week beginning on
February 25.
Club members manage their grief by
serving others. Last year the club volunteered at
tbe Ronald McDonald house and made break
fast for families living with terminally ill chil
dren. This activity helped bring the group to
gether emotionally. The club itself is not meant
to always be a solemn occasion. The group par
ticipates in fun and light-hearted conversations
to help the healing process.
The club president is willing to have
one-on-one sessions with anyone who needs
support. As a member of the group I have
learned that grieving is a natural process. You
are not alone. There are many that have or are
currently experiencing the same pain. The club
does not require commitment so feel free to
come when you just want to talk.
Email Ms. Beth Meier at this address;
The counseling center in Carroll has a 10am
walk in time and ipm crisis hours. For more in
formation got to this address:
http: / / www.studentsofamf org/about/

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