World Suicide Prevention Day

World Suicide Prevention Day is an initiative by the World Health Organization that started in 2004. The day is celebrated annually on the 10th of September 2018.  This year, Ahfad University for Women (AUW) held an event on Suicide Prevention under the theme: Hold On, Pain Ends (HOPE), the aim of which was to celebrate life and provide hope.

  • World Suicide Prevention Day-AUW was held at Awatif Imama Hall from 3-5 pm, on Monday, September 10, 2018. The event was hosted by Dr. Rita Amok from the School of Psychology and Preschool Education (SoP) and was attended by a number of AUW students and staff.
  • Short documentary: the aim of which was to break the stigma around suicide, suicide ideation, and SoP talking about periods of their lives when they were either severely depressed or attempted to commit suicide, with a focus on how they managed to overcome and emerge stronger and loving life.
  • The event involved two speakers from the School of Psychology: Dr. Nuha and Dr. Aisha Albalola. The first speaker, Dr. Nuha introduced the audience to the concepts of suicide and self-injury, then she spoke about suicide and self-injury prevention, coping strategies, and psychotherapeutic techniques such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Music Therapy, as well as community and self-employed strategies. Dr. Nuha’s talk also featured videos of her music therapy clinic and the different artistic techniques that clients use there. The second speaker, Dr. Aisha Albalola spoke briefly encouraging students to create an initiative that will enhance awareness and intervention and create support networks within the university and across schools.  
  • Additionally, a number of volunteering students from the Psychology Student Association distributed a depression-screening tool to the attendees and throughout the university campus to assess the level of depression among students. A hand out was also distributed along with the questionnaire containing information self-coping strategies and ways through which people can identify signs of depression. The handout also contained information on Ahfad Trauma Center and the services that the center provides along with their contact information.
  • Finally, the floor was opened for the audience to share their stories or ask questions. A number of students shared their own personal experiences with depression and suicide ideation which created a fruitful discussion and increased the desire for students to create supporting networks dedicated to awareness raising and lay-service provision.