Hope 4 All

Wellness Services and Hope 4 All will be unveiling a sculpture funded by the Garrett Lee Smith Campus Suicide Prevention grant at 3 p.m. Sept. 28 in the space between North and South Complex. The sculpture is meant to remind students to not be afraid to reach out to someone about mental health.

Wellness Services and Hope 4 All will be unveiling a sculpture funded by the Garrett Lee Smith Campus Suicide Prevention grant at 3 p.m. Sept. 28 in the space between North and South Complex. The sculpture is meant to remind students to not be afraid to reach out to someone about mental health.

The idea for the sculpture was originally created by former Northwest art students, and $5,000 from the grant was allocated to supply the artists. However, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, campus closed, and those art students graduated before they could build the sculpture.

Senior Elizabeth Herrick then reached out to Hope 4 All Coordinator Monica Zeigel and presented her idea for the art piece. Grateful to have found someone to create the piece, Ziegel worked with Herrick and allotted $200 for the sculpture.

The grant, totaling $306,000, was given to Northwest in 2018 and has provided for numerous mental health programs at Northwest. The grant has a span of three years for the University to use the funds. All grant funds have been appropriated, but any leftover  funds could have been used until the end of this month.  

Zeigel has been at the forefront of the mental health initiatives provided by the grant. Programs such as “I Will Listen” and “Reflect, Connect, Move” have been made possible with the grant money.

Trainings and workshops such as “Respond” help students learn to address the topics of suicide and prepare them to address mental health in friends and classmates. 

“Even though the grant is ending, I think Northwest has now seen the positive impacts of promoting mental health,” Zeigel said.

During the 2021 spring semester, Hope 4 All partnered with Active Minds and the Behavioral Sciences Association to host an event called “I Will Listen,” a mental health awareness event that Zeigel has worked to make an annual event since last semester.

When applying for the grant, one of the requirements for using the money was that a portion would be allocated to a work of art to represent mental health. For Herrick, having positive mental health means being comfortable.

“I’ve struggled with my mental health, and I hope we can all be comfortable,” Herrick said. “I think being open about mental health can help other people be less afraid to reach out.”

The sculpture is located in the space between North and South Complex and is titled “Helping Hands.” The arms were made from molds of Herrick and her friends’ arms and took a lot of time to make, which pushed back the unveiling of the art piece to Sept. 28.

Herrick said she is relieved that the sculpture is now finished and is excited for when they unveil it. Herrick will speak at the unveiling, along with Zeigel and Assistant Vice President of Health and Well-Being Chris Dawe.

Zeigel said she is looking forward to continuing working on the mental well-being of students at Northwest, even without the help of grant money.

“Everything we do affects our mental health,” Zeigel said. “A student who is mentally well is a successful student.”

As always, students are welcome to use Wellness Services for counseling by contacting 660-562-1348 during regular business hours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., or contact the University Police Department at 660-562-1354 outside of business hours. Faculty and staff can call the University employee assistance program at 800-964-3577.

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