Archived News | Return to News Center

September 13, 2010

"Reach out to Help" promotes mental health

ULM's Marriage and Family Therapy Program sponsored "Reach out to Help" in conjunction with National Suicide Prevention Day on Friday, Sept. 10. The event also promoted mental wellness at ULM.

Hundreds of balloons were launched from Bayou Park at the end of the two-hour event to honor those Louisiana college-aged students who have lost their lives to suicide.

The event was part of ULM HELPS (Helping Educators and Learners Prevent Suicide), a new College of Education and Human Development project devoted to educating and training the ULM family. The program is designed to help those who may be experiencing mental health issues up to and including thoughts or behaviors related to suicide.

The Friday morning program also included testimony and discussions with survivors, experts, students, and concerned community partners.

One expert shared the 10 warning signs that someone may be contemplating suicide, which included symptoms of depression or anxiety; talk of suicide; abrupt changes in sleep patterns; inability to concentrate; dramatic weight loss or weight gain; signs of low self-esteem; lack of goals; making arrangements for eventual death; loss of control; and an overall history consistent with signs of suicide.

Miss Louisiana and ULM Sophomore Kelsi Crain also spoke to event participants, encouraging them to do their part to stem the tide of rising suicide statistics. Crain, also Miss ULM, said she embraced her platform, "Heart for the Arts," because she was passionate that it promoted a healthy lifestyle and addressed the issue of suicide directly.

"I want to talk to you today because I feel like my platform really embodies what we are here for and that is to reach out help, and make a difference," she said. "To do that, we must evaluate our own lifestyles."

ULM Interim President Dr. Stephen Richters thanked the CEHD faculty for their efforts in creating the HELPS program.

"This is a great resource to help our family and friends work through these issues when they occur," said Richters. "Thank you, Marriage and Family Therapy, for sponsoring this important event."

For more information about ULM HELPS and all counseling services available at the university, contact Peggy Buffington in CEHD at 318-343-1335 or

PLEASE NOTE: Some links and e-mail addresses in these archived news stories may no longer work, and some content may include events which are no longer relevent, or reference individuals and/or organizations no longer associated with ULM.