“I really just want people to feel okay with not feeling okay, it happens to us all, that’s life, it happens,” said junior Tyler Gilmore.
Gilmore is the creator of Voices, a community group that welcomes anyone to share their difficulties and struggles with depression or suicide as means of prevention.
During the week of World Suicide Prevention Day, Gilmore was handing out flyers and was speaking with people about suicide.
“People were more open to talking about suicide than I expected,” said Gilmore.
Voices put together an open forum on World Suicide Prevention Day with students and faculty to not only stimulate the conversation but to also raise awareness on the many faces of suicide.
One of the faculty members that was on the panel was Psychology Professor Todd Schultz.
sociological aspect and he is really good at talking about how we can affect social change,” said Gilmore.
Not only did Gilmore bring in someone with many years of experience in this field, but he also brought in student Buddy Beccerra who is personally involved in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer community, but due to his experiences, he was a valuable resource for students to be able to ask questions that might not be asked normally.
One of the questions asked at the panel was whether or not depression and anxiety are co-morbid, or whether they exist simultaneously. Schultz answered this question by saying that they are the two most co-morbid.
An easy action that students or anybody can do is to just pay attention to the people around them. If someone seems like they could use something to brighten their day, then take that opportunity. According to Gilmore, even just having a more open and inviting posture and tone can make a difference to another person.
of walking through difficulties with someone else. The idea of not being alone and having someone to act as a mutual support system.
“By just creating a culture where we can just walk through things together, like somebody is saying this doesn’t feel right, I don’t feel right,” said Gilmore. “Someone else can say, I may not know what that was like but we are going to walk through this together.”
As a society, Gilmore would really like to see a change in how we, as people, behave toward one another so that we are able to create a better culture to live in.
One aspect of the current culture that upset Gilmore was the statistic that within the LGBTQ community, the rate of suicide is four times higher than the rate for the general population. Another one brought up was for people in the college age range, 18-23, that the suicide rate is the highest out of all of the age groups.
With aspirations to do social work later on in life, Gilmore would love to be able to see Voices travel to other colleges and bring up suicide and awareness of depression and anxiety in
other collegiate settings.
“I eventually want part of my job
to be creating safe places where people can talk,” said Gilmore. “Maybe take Voices to college campuses and having a night where people can come face to face and talk about what they are facing.”
Voices is a place for people to be able to share in their experiences without some of the social stigmas that are attached to the more vulnerable feelings that are associated with depression and suicide.
When someone with depression, anxiety or they are just feeling under the weather, they aren’t always looking for sympathy, sometimes just someone to talk to is all it takes.
Students and members of the community alike are welcome to visit the Voices Facebook page at www. facebook.com/voicesovervices and the Tumblr page at www.voicesovervices. tumblr.com
Gilmore said that both pages are “a space for people to say I’m not okay and this way and have other people say I’m feeling a similar thing, you aren’t alone.”