Students Commit to Ending Suicide with 2017 Gift to Tech
The annual Gift to Tech Celebration will take place Tuesday, April 18, from 11 a.m. to noon at the Kessler Campanile. This event honors the 2017 Gift to Tech recipient, Tech Ends Suicide Together, and the generosity of current students and alumni. All students, faculty, and staff are welcome to attend the celebration and enjoy Chick-fil-A, cake, and Coca-Cola products.
The final Gift to Tech donation amount will not be determined until June, but the gift is expected exceed $45,000, compiled through donations from 2016-17 SAA members and matching gift donor Gary Jones.
Tech Ends Suicide Together is an initiative developed by the Georgia Tech Counseling Center and Division of Student Life.
“The Counseling Center is excited and humbled to have been selected for the SAA Gift to Tech Award,” said Ruperto Perez, director of the Counseling Center. “The significance of the award to support the Tech Ends Suicide Together initiative is beyond measure, as it allows the Center to continue working with our campus groups to educate, train, and promote suicide prevention at Tech.”
The initiative is based on an international Zero Suicide campaign that has been enacted in community health care systems around the world and made prominent in the U.S. through the efforts of Henry Ford Health Care Systems in Michigan. Zero Suicide aspires to create an extensive system of care to identify individuals at risk for suicide and to provide effective intervention and services to eliminate suicide.
While the Zero Suicide initiative has been implemented within many community health care systems, the initiative has yet to be completely implemented on college and university campuses. Tech Ends Suicide Together has gained local and statewide attention in both the public media and at the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. Georgia Tech is one of the first colleges or universities in the U.S. to implement a zero suicide initiative.
There are seven core principles for Tech Ends Suicide Together: lead, train, identify, engage, treat, transition, and improve. The initiative hopes to connect students, staff, faculty, families, and the community to demonstrate these principles to end suicide at Tech. For more information, visit endsuicide.gatech.edu.
Lacy Currie, suicide prevention and crisis response coordinator at the Counseling Center, is looking forward to using the Gift to Tech donation to increase the impact of Tech Ends Suicide Together.
“I am excited and honored that our students have chosen the Tech Ends Suicide Together initiative as the recipient of this award,” Currie said. “This gift clearly speaks to their commitment to ending suicide and provides the initiative new opportunities for growth that didn’t exist before. Specifically, it allows for expanded programming and outreach to the campus community, along with increased availability of training to every member of our community.”
She hopes that students realize how grateful she is for the gift and their commitment to ending suicide.
Students interested in joining the Tech Ends Suicide Together initiative can help by talking about mental health concerns with friends, family members, roommates, colleagues, and peers. The Tech Ends Suicide Toolkit contains information and self-evaluation resources to learn more about the initiative and to evaluate current practices, resources, and programs.
Students can still contribute to the gift by joining SAA at gtsaa.com.