This week, the Interfraternity Council is hosting an initiative focusing on the importance of mental health awareness and education. Mental health is a topic that has been thrust into the spotlight both nationally and here at the U of A over the past several years.
John Wilson, Interfraternity Council president, shared the following: “Specifically for the Interfraternity Council, the stigmatization of men’s mental health and traditional lack of conversation and education about seeking help were points that current community leaders identified as catalysts for this initiative. Research shows that men die by suicide four times more frequently than women and are much less likely to access mental health services. This initiative will serve to spread awareness throughout our chapters about mental health education, training and outreach. It is imperative for us to take the proper steps to ensure our men have the resources, accessibility and support to help one another and themselves.”
This week, IFC chapters are engaging in a variety of education and programming surrounding mental health awareness:
- Instead of hosting traditional weekly chapter meetings, chapters are having brotherhood-focused nights (cooking out as a chapter, engaging in chapter discussion about mental health) and providing resources to members.
- IFC will hand out over 1,000 red wristbands to chapter members with the tagline “Razorbacks Reach Out” and the number to the national suicide prevention hotline.
- Representatives from all 14 IFC chapters will be trained in QPR suicide prevention techniques through an educational program facilitated by CAPS.
- During a mental health-focused meeting for officers, individuals will share best practices regarding mental health and brotherhood, be trained in peer-to-peer intervention and learn basic warning signs for someone experiencing a mental health challenge or crisis.
“The Interfraternity Council at the University of Arkansas, and those that compose our council, are committed to being there for one another at all times, no matter the circumstances,” Wilson said.