More than 200 Wilkes students, faculty and staff gathered for a candlelight vigil on Sunday, Sept. 26 in recognition of National Suicide Prevention Month.
The event was organized by Caylee-Mae Williams. Williams, from Yuba City, Calif., is a senior psychology major and member of the Wilkes softball team. Throughout September, Williams planned a series of awareness initiatives, including the placement of blue and purple flags throughout campus and motivation chalk messages to remind the campus of the value of compassion and support.
Reflections were provided by Paul S. Adams, vice president of student affairs, and Jackie Klahold, Wilkes softball coach. Klahold spoke about Wilkes alumnus and football player,Travis “Bo” Tkach ’07. Months after graduating from Wilkes, Tkach tragically took his own life. Klahold represented the Bo Tkach Foundation, which was created in his memory with the goal of creating awareness for mental health issues and providing funding for youth athletic programs and scholarships.
Adams reminded attendees of resources on campus and nationally:
24/7 Wilkes University Crisis Support Line: 570-408-CHAT (2428)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255
Read more in the Times Leader: Suicide Victims Remembered During Wilkes Ceremony