FAU recognizes National Suicide Prevention Day

Owls Care Health Promotion and Counseling and Psychological Services reach out to students to inform them about mental health services at FAU.


Brandon Harrington

Students who participated in the National Suicide Prevention Day event wrote motivational messages. Brandon Harrington | Contributing Photographer

Amber Ali and Bibi Patel

Across the country, people will recognize today, Sept. 10, as National Suicide Prevention Day.

According to a study conducted by Emory University, there are more than 1,000 suicides on college campuses every year, with one in 10 college students having made a plan for suicide at some point.

At Florida Atlantic, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and Owls Care Health Promotion – which hosted an event about the day at Traditions Plaza – provide services that help students to maintain mental well-being.

Owls Care’s mission is to teach students how to take care of themselves and lend a helping hand to friends who may need it, intervening sooner rather than later.

“In regard to suicide prevention, friends may be the first to notice signs that something is not quite right,” said Owls Care Health Promotion Director Dr. Raquel Cabral. “When that happens, we want to empower our students to reach out to a friend in need and connect them with the resources they need to get help.”

At the event, Owls Care leaders promoted a free online game called “At-risk for Students.” This game is designed to “help a friend who is struggling,” according to a flyer.

The purpose of the game is to recognize signs of distress in friends, offer techniques on how to reach out to an “at-risk” friend and share resources available on campus for support.

The objective of the game is to identify which avatar is stressed in a group of friends, through a series of exercises and role-play conversations. These avatars are “fully animated and emotionally responsive virtual students,” according to the game developer, Kognito.

When registering online for the game, the software requires an enrollment key, which is “fau561” for FAU students.  

CAPS also offers two types of counseling sessions – individual or group. Individual focuses on a collaborative treatment effort between student and therapist. Group brings students with similar struggles together in order to share their stories.

A complete list of CAPS services can be found on their webpage.