1,100 Candles Lit for Suicide Awareness

Volunteers from the Mental Health Alliance (MHA) lit candles arranged in the shape of “1100” on the steps outside of Pomona College's Frary Dining Hall on the evening of March 6. The figure represents the number of college students who commit suicide in the United States every year.

Yenli Wong PO '15 said that the purpose of the event was to raise awareness about the stigma related to mental illness and suicide, and to encourage college students to discuss mental health. She said that Jan Collins-Eaglin, associate dean of students for student support and learning at Pomona, suggested the idea for the event. 

Wong said that the group is grateful to everyone who attended the event.

“It was really touching to see how many people there were lighting candles and helping us out," Wong said. "It was beyond what we expected, and we really appreciated it."

Louie Lemus PO ’15, an MHA member who volunteered to light candles, spoke about the group's promotion of mental health awareness at the 5Cs.

“MHA is trying to encourage more discussions about media perception and things around mental illness," he said, including group discussions in which students can learn what it is like to attend talk therapy sessions.

MHA will host a panel event called "Happiness at Pomona" today, March 7 at 7 p.m. in Room 201 of the Smith Campus Center