‘Yell(ow) It Out’ for Suicide Prevention at Penn College

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- College students in Lycoming County are hoping to break the stigma around mental illness through educating their classmates.

For the first time, Pennsylvania College of Technology is holding a full day of events to help raise awareness for suicide prevention.

They're calling it "Yell(ow) It Out."

Take a walk on Penn College's campus in Williamsport and you may notice yellow ribbons wrapped around the trees and signs that now line a walkway. This is all part of the school's attempt to help educate the public on how they can help prevent suicide.

Brett Kimmel stopped by an information table set up to help answer students' questions and concerns about suicide prevention. The freshman hopes this initiative will help break the stigma around mental illness, so people feel comfortable reaching out for support.

"There are a lot more people than you'd like to think who are putting a smile on their face because it doesn't let them be noticed," said Kimmel.

"We are constantly trying to come up with new ideas and new ways to get students talking about it and take the stigma away from it," said senior David Gadalla.

It's part of the reason the school is holding an event where students and faculty will learn how to talk with people who may have thoughts of suicide.

"You want to persuade them that to not act on the feelings or what they might think of doing and then refer them to the proper resources," Gadalla said.

Students seeking support are welcome to stop by the counseling center at Penn College. It's free for students and open Monday through Friday.

"We know a lot about how to help people feel better we just need to make sure they are getting connected with our services," said counselor Jacklyn Leitzel.

"They are not here judging you. They are here to help you and you are loved. Don't feel that you are by yourself because you are not," Gadalla added.

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, you can call the suicide prevention lifeline at 800-273-8255.

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