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IVC News > October 22, 2018

Walk of Hope to End Suicide

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Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people, age 15 to 24.

More than 20 veterans die by suicide every day.

The statistics are startling, but Irvine Valley College (IVC) is committed to preventing suicide by speaking a message of hope to those struggling with depression. On October 17, the IVC community gathered to raise awareness about mental health issues at the second annual Walk of Hope.

“We are all here taking the first step to preventing any more suicides,” said Nancy Montgomery, Assistant Dean, Health, Wellness and Veterans Services in her opening remarks. “We need to know how to respond with help and know what to do.”

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According to IVC mental health provider Stacy Lavino, the most common mental issue seen in the IVC Health and Wellness Center is depression. This annual IVC event aims to bring attention to a stigmatized topic, strengthen the community and energize efforts to save the lives of our students, especially those who have served their country.

The morning’s program began with a greeting from Nancy Montgomery, and included remarks from Assemblymember Matthew Harper, Vice President for Student Services Dr. Linda Fontanilla and Lavino. The keynote address was delivered by the new Mental Health Provider in the Health and Wellness Center, Dr. Debbie Hutchinson, who spoke poignantly from personal experience on the point that it only takes one person to intervene and save a life.

Following the program, the over 100 attendees participated in a 1.4 mile walk around campus, marked by posters sharing suicide statistics and offering information and resources on how to identify suicide risk factors.

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After the walk concluded, participants had lunch and attended a resource fair with local community and mental health agencies to provide educational materials and referrals.

“Each mind is unique, but very much not alone in times of struggle,” said IVC student and ASG President, Matthew Rosborough,. “Though stigma and silence may convince otherwise, mental health affects each of us, and now more than ever we deserve an honest discussion of healthfulness in both body and mind.”

IVC’s Health and Wellness Center offers on-site counseling and referrals to outside agencies for those who need assistance with mental health issues that require more in-depth treatment. Counselors are available by appointment, Monday through Thursday, 9 am to 4 pm. Learn more… ​

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