Prepare Your Institution for Upcoming National Observances This September

Prepare Your Institution for Upcoming National Observances This September

As we head into the 2021-22 academic year, Vector Solutions wants to help your college or university to prepare for upcoming national events, so that you can better promote safety, well-being, and inclusivity on campus. Here’s what you can prepare for: 

  • National Suicide Prevention Month (September)
  • National Suicide Awareness & Prevention Week (September 5-11)
  • World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10)
  • National Hazing Prevention Week (September 20-24)
  • National Alcohol & Drug Addiction Recovery Month (September)
  • National Campus Safety Awareness Month (September)

National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month — a time to raise awareness on this stigmatized, and often taboo, topic. In addition to shifting public perception, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) uses this month to spread hope and vital information to people affected by suicide. Its goal is ensuring that individuals, friends, and families have access to the resources they need to discuss suicide prevention and to seek help. Throughout the month of September, NAMI will highlight “Together for Mental Health,” which encourages people to bring their voices together to advocate for better mental health care, including a crisis response system. Suicide Prevention Awareness Month helps spread awareness, promotes open dialogue, and initiates change.

National Suicide Prevention Week, which begins on September 5 and ends on September 11, is an annual campaign observed in the United States to educate and inform the general public about suicide prevention and the warning signs of suicide. This week aims to educate, reduce the stigma surrounding suicide, and encourage support surrounding suicide prevention. Suicide prevention week is important because it spreads awareness, helps prevent suicide, reduces stigma surrounding mental health, and fosters compassion in people. This week is critical for people to reflect, educate themselves, raise awareness, and look out for others. 

World Suicide Prevention Day has been observed on September 10th since 2003, initiated by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO). Listed on IASP’s website, the new theme for World Suicide Prevention Day 2021-2023 is: “Creating Hope Through Action”. People can participate by reaching out to loved ones, discussing mental health, and searching for helpful resources, which can be found on any of the websites tagged.

Some examples of how colleges and universities can participate in these initiatives, include:

  • Increase knowledge and mental health resources around campus buildings such as dormitories and lecture halls.
  • Host mental wellness workshops in person or via zoom. 
  • Post mental health resources on social media accounts. 
  • Host mental health check-ins through campus Resident Assistants (RA). 
  • Educate students, faculty, and staff on the warning signs.
  • Require students, faculty, and staff members to complete mental health education programs to learn more about this topic.
  • Provide free therapists and mental health classes on campus.
  • Plant yellow flowers, flags, or windmills, to raise awareness.
  • Encourage campus members to reach out to each other and realize warning signs.

National Hazing Prevention Week

National Hazing Prevention Week is observed from September 20 through the 24th. This week was initiated by HazingPrevention.Org and provides an opportunity for campuses, schools, communities, organizations and individuals to come together to talk about hazing in their communities, raise awareness about the problem of hazing, educate others about hazing, and promote the prevention of hazing. In recent news, the State of Ohio pushed through new legislation, which increases the penalties for committing hazing. This topic is becoming more important now than ever before due to the severity over the last decade, so it is crucial to raise awareness during this week.

Some examples of how colleges and universities can participate include in this week, include:

  • Have anti-hazing policies which clearly state rules and punishments.
  • Maintain a report of all hazing incidents and post it to their public website.
  • Require anti-hazing training and education courses for all campus members.
  • Require all school recognized organizations to sign an anti-hazing agreement. 
  • Pledge to not tolerate hazing in any organization.

National Alcohol & Drug Addiction Recovery Month

According to NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals, National Recovery Month is a national observance held every September to educate Americans that substance use treatment and mental health services can enable those with a mental and/or substance use disorder to live a healthy and rewarding life. Since 1989, this month provides resources, education, and celebrates those who succeed in recovery. The website states that, each year, Recovery Month selects a new focus and theme to spread the message and share success stories of treatment and recovery. The 2021 Recovery Month observance will work to promote and support new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, the emergence of a strong and proud recovery community, and the dedication of service providers and community members across the nation who make recovery in all its forms possible.

Some examples of how colleges and universities can participate in this month, include:

  • Host an awareness walk.
  • Host webinars or in-person speakers from recovering addicts. 
  • Provide resources on how to get help.
  • Require students, faculty, and staff members to complete alcohol and substance abuse education programs to learn more about this topic.
  • Host sober events such as movie nights, game nights, team building activities, hiking, or other activities that students can participate in.

National Campus Safety Awareness Month

In 2008, National Campus Safety Awareness Month was unanimously approved by Congress to encourage a public conversation on important topics in violence prevention at our nation’s colleges and universities. Every year, the Clery Center chooses a relevant theme, then works to spread awareness, inform institutional policy, and effect change by developing free programs and resources that promote campus safety. The Clery Center will be offering a free, virtual summit to bring together campus safety practitioners and higher education leaders to help improve campus safety and discuss the main challenges institutions face today. 

Some examples of how colleges and universities can participate in this month, include:

  • Post safety information and resources around campus, in dormitories, lecture halls, and other campus buildings.
  • Have an emergency notification messaging system in place.
  • Post where emergency blue light boxes are located on campus.
  • Provide transportation around campus that students can utilize late at night. 
  • Provide an anonymous tipping system for campus members to report crimes. 
  • Require educational training such as alcohol and drug abuse prevention, sexual assault prevention, diversity and inclusion, hazing, and many other topics. 

How Vector Solutions Can Help

Vector Solutions can help you increase safety, well-being, and inclusion on campus through our powerful solution set, which includes Employee Training, Student Training, Anonymous Reporting and Safety Communications, and more. 

Our Employee Course Catalog has over 170 courses focused on Compliance and Safety, Diversity and Inclusion, and Facilities Maintenance. Topics include: Campus Safety, Mental Health, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, and more.

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Our Student Course Catalog includes over 30 courses focused on Awareness, Diversity and Inclusion, and Prevention (Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, Sexual Violence Prevention, and Wellness).

Contact us for more information