Stephen F. Austin State University

Outreach Programs

Garden of Hope

Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for college students. In order to raise awareness, the Suicide Prevention/Mental Health and Wellness Workgroup hosted a Garden of Hope. Anyone who stopped by to view the garden had the opportunity to make colorful pinwheels out of construction paper, write messages of hope on the petals, and plant their pinwheels in the garden, hoping for a breeze to spin their creations. Some of the messages of hope were, "life is beautiful," "caring saves lives," and, "there's always a way." The Garden of Hope was created to celebrate Suicide Prevention Awareness Week, as well as to promote suicide intervention training.

Alcohol and Drug Education Task Force

Bringing awareness to smarter choices concerning alcohol and drugs is the focus of the Alcohol and Drug Education Task Force, also known as the A-team. Each semester the A-team conducts several outreach activities for students to engage in heightened awareness and safety around potentially harmful substances. Guest speakers, a drunk-driving simulator and obstacle course, poster campaigns and give-aways are just some of the many ways the A-team tries to reach the student body. Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to join int he important role of preventing tragedies and loss of life from alcohol and drug use. The A-team strives to partner with other campus organizations and departments, such as Driving Jacks and the Recreation Center, to combine every resource to reach SFA's diverse community.

National Eating Disorder Association

Every Spring semester, the Love Your Genes work team promotes healthy body images during the National Eating Disorder Association Awareness Week. We are aware that some students, both male and female, do not see their own beauty and self-worth because of today's unrealistic, perfection-driven culture. We know that 80% of American women are dissatisfied with tehir appearance. Displays with pictures are set up to dispel myths and promote more realistic ideas about beauty. Colorful t-shirts and buttons were available that sported the phrase, "Be YOU tiful." Additionally, severeal departments on campus worked together to host a panel discussion, docuemtnary video, and lunch. The SFA community is invited to become allies in the campaign of Love Your Genes, Love Yourself.

It Gets Better Project

The It Gets Better Project is an Internet-based project founded by Dan Savage and his husband Terry Miller in response to the suicides of teenagers who were being bullied because they were gay or because their peers suspected that they were gay. One-third of teenage suicides are related to sexual orientation or gender identity concerns. Many "It Gets Better" videos have been created and contain people who have experienced difficult times based on their sexual orientation or gender identity and convey the message that your lives will improve. The GLBT Workgroup and Price Nac, an SFA student organization, created SFA's own "It Gets Better" video.
It Gets Better Video

Stress Free Event

Everyone knows that stress can wreak havoc on the body and the mind. Unmanaged stress can cause headaches, gastrointestinal problems, sleeplessness, academic decline, irritability, relationship issues, and many other difficulties. During the Spring semester, the Suicide Prevention/Mental Health and Wellness workgroup presents a Stress Free Carnival and invites the SFA community to join in the fun. Past events have included Ring the Bell, Corn Hole, Balloon Blasts, Coloring Books, and Play-Doh. Helpful tips on how to handle stress are provided along with the fun, games, and popcorn.