These past few weeks have not been easy. It's been nearly impossible to turn on the television, visit a news site, or get on Facebook without learning of another young life cut tragically short by suicide. Tyler Clementi. Jacob Miller. Raymond Chase. Seth Walsh. Asher Brown. Billy Lucas. And unfortunately, we know that the list goes on. These are just the stories that make the news -- according to research, with more than 1,100 college students dying by suicide every year, more than 20 young people have died by suicide in this past week alone -- and there are many more who are suffering.
As founder and Executive Director of Active Minds, a national organization dedicated to changing the conversation about mental health on college campuses, I am reminded that our work is more important than ever. Our students, staff, and supporters will continue to work tirelessly to create campuses across the country where young adults feel safe to be who they are, comfortable reaching out for help, and supported in their struggles. We will keep fighting against the stigma and shame that plague mental health in our society and prevent people from seeking the help they deserve.
We will do all we can to get our messages out and into the hands, minds, and hearts of young adults. We will fight until our work is no longer relevant, and we hope you will do the same.
With that in mind, we are proud to stand with the Jed Foundation, MTV, and actress Brittany Snow in the newly launched Love Is Louder movement. The social media campaign, also supported by DoSomething.org, The Trevor Project, Reach Out, To Write Love on Her Arms, Liz Claiborne Inc.'s Love Is Not Abuse, Stomp Out Bullying!, Wired Safety and the Ad Council, aims to spread messages of love and hope to young people who feel they might have run out of options.
This coming Tuesday, October 19, Love Is Louder will be turning up the volume with a party in L.A. hosted by Snow and grassroots activities throughout the country. Get your friends together to take pictures and videos. Tweet out #loveislouder as much as you can. Write it on your hand. Visit www.loveislouder.com for other ideas so we can raise the volume so everyone knows that love is louder and they aren't alone.
I believe in the power of every voice, and I believe that love is louder than hate, louder than hopelessness. Do you?
Follow Alison Malmon on Twitter: www.twitter.com/AlisonMalmon