Coahoma Faculty and Staff Get Hooked on DSAP
CLARKSDALE — Coahoma Community College’s faculty and staff got “HOOK”ed Tuesday afternoon while attending a Depression and Suicide Awareness Prevention Program (DSAP) inside Whiteside Hall. Four Coahoma students, and two members of the CCC staff (Students, Sponosors Head to Atlanta for Depression/Suicide Awareness Program) headed to Atlanta, GA last week to attend the Dr. Lonnie E. Mitchell HBCU Behavioral Health Policy Academy and they returned to share a message with the rest of the Coahoma family.
The special guest speaker for this event was Marc Fomby, CEO and founder of FTC Prevention Services, LLC. Fomby specializes in youth development and trainings that directly affect issues concerning today’s youths. His experience spans nearly two decades including a background in law enforcement, and program development as a prevention services coordinator.
Fomby spoke with his CCC audience about the stigma that goes along with being labeled as having “mental illness” or being medicated for certain behavioral issues. He further related that because of this stigma, many youths will not seek out proper medical treatment and don’t believe that it’s OK to reach out for help concerning these conditions. He emphasized the importance of faculty and staff paying attention to their students and engaging them about behavioral changes outside of their normal behavior.
“Suicide is increasingly affecting young people at a rate like never before,” said Fomby. “Identifying students that have a need can open the gateway to discussion—that may be the medication that they need.”
Fomby illustrated the commonality of “mental illness” by pointing out that one in five individuals will experience a “mental illness” in their lifetime. But in the “college” setting, many students just need to understand that they are not outcast, and not alone in their feelings. Among young adults, the number of serious mental health conditions is high, yet the number of people in this age group that seeks treatment is the lowest.
Tuesday’s workshop was aimed at giving CCC staff the tools and visual and emotional determiners to recognize these behavioral problems in their students and help them deal with their problems. Not to pass them along to someone else, but to be able to offer help themselves and recommend treatment and help options and how to be an observer and a catalyst for change and a trusting role model.
Facts about suicide:
13.3% of students reported seriously considering suicide in MS
10.4% of students made a plan to commit suicide in MS
8.5% of students reported an actual attempt at suicide in MS
3.1% of suicide attempts resulted in injury, poisoning or overdose that had to be treated by a doctor or nurse in MS