‘Helper flags’ fly on UAA Campus for suicide prevention week

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Anchorage (KTUU) A small hill on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus is dotted with hundreds of small colorful flags this week. Each recognizes someone or something that has helped a student get through a difficult time.

“I know personally that I’ve had to use people as resources when I was stressed and I want to make sure people feel comfortable to do that as well,” said Hannah Guzzi with the Student Health and Counseling Center.

The ‘helper flags’ at the Cuddy Quad display the names of helping friends, family, teachers, pets for the duration of suicide prevention week. A few recognizes someone who was lost to suicide.

“It actually affects all ages and it’s not just one age group or another,” Guzzi said.

Guzzi hopes the flags raise awareness for people asking and seeking help.

“They say that most people will actually comfort you and tell you they’re having these suicidal thoughts beforehand. I think a lot of people underrate that and do come forward and want to talk about that,” said Guzzi.

UAA’s Student Health and Counseling Center offers weekly suicide prevention training and counseling services.

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