Pellissippi State recognizes Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

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Male in suit at table with paper on desk and pen in hand. 3 females are standing behind him.
Pellissippi State Community College President L. Anthony Wise Jr. signs a proclamation Thursday, Aug. 29, naming September as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month on all Pellissippi State campuses. Joining him, from left, are College counselors Lisa Orient, Elizabeth Firestone and Kathleen Douthat.

Pellissippi State Community College has named September as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month at all of its five campuses. President L. Anthony Wise Jr. signed the official proclamation on Thursday.

According to the Jed Foundation, an organization dedicated to promoting emotional health and preventing suicide among college students, one in 10 college students has contemplated suicide at some point.

Suicide is now the third leading cause of death among 15- to 24-year-olds and is the second leading cause among college-age students. Approximately 1,100 college students die by suicide each year.

“We want Pellissippi State students to be successful and hopeful,” said Wise. “Every student should know that our faculty and staff are here to help support them.”

As part of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, Pellissippi State counselors will offer programming designed to teach students how to recognize behaviors associated with vulnerability, depression and suicide contemplation.

In addition, counselors will visit classrooms by faculty request to facilitate question-persuade-refer training. QPR is designed to prevent suicide by providing support to the person in need.

“Mental illnesses are real, diagnosable and treatable,” said Elizabeth Firestone, director of Counseling at Pellissippi State. “More important, treatment of mental illnesses works—there is hope for recovery. Students who are feeling stressed, depressed or having suicidal thoughts can contact Counseling and find help.”

Pellissippi State joins the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network in its recognition of September as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. The network is a collaboration of Tennesseans and organizations working to eliminate the stigma of suicide, educate the community about the warning signs and ultimately reduce the rate of suicide in the state.

For more information about Pellissippi State’s Counseling Office, call (865) 694-6547 or visit