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Campus video delivers message of hope, support to students

By: Lindsay Alowairdi, Kevin Hurd Email
By: Lindsay Alowairdi, Kevin Hurd Email
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Sponsors of and participants in the video and premiere event included University Counseling Center, Stout Council on Family Relations, Multicultural Student Services, School Counseling Club, Psychology Club, Center for Applied Ethics, Pi Lambda Phi, and Ally Initiatives for Civil Rights and Civic Responsibility.
 

MENOMONIE, Wis. -- They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But put both together and your impact can be even greater.

"A lot of people that are in college go through so much stress and finals and with holidays it can be stressful," said Amy Geislinger, a UW-Stout student and video creator.

She helped create the video that is online for UW-Stout students, even the world for that matter, offering messages of hope and list of places to go for help.

"We try to do as much outreach to students about topics that come up on campus," she added.

She got the idea to create the video from the University of Colorado in Boulder. It includes some staggering stats - five in ten students say they have felt depressed during an academic year. Another one in ten say they have thought about suicide.

"I think an awareness video like this helps to get that message out that people that feel that way are not alone and there is a lot of help and support available to them," said John Achter, Director of the Counseling Center at UW-Stout.

The video includes 25 students holding signs with messages of all kinds. Simple messages like "because you matter," all the way up to "college is supposed to be challenging not overwhelming."

"The mid-semester is actually a really busy time as students get more stressed about exams and then the finals week which is where we are at now is another really busy time," Achter said.

Student Scott Fischer helps with the editing.

"Just trying to get the mood and tone right was a bit of a challenge," he said.

His goal - turning a batch of pictures, music and words into something powerful.

"We're all in this together, so helping each other out, that is really what I would like to send as a message," Fischer added.

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A special message is being sent to University of Wisconsin-Stout students as they head into what can be a stressful time of year with final exams and the holiday season.

The message is in the form of a new video titled “Together We Can Make a Difference.” In the four-minute video more than 25 students and staff had their photos taken with messages of love and support for others who struggle this time of year.

The project focused on suicide awareness, noting that one in 10 college students considers suicide and half of college students have periods of feeling depressed or helpless.

“College is supposed to be challenging, not overwhelming,” one message says. “You’re never alone,” says another.

The release of the video is timely, in particular for young people who may be experiencing stress or feeling overwhelmed for a variety of reasons, said video coordinator and student Amy Geislinger.

“I feel this is an important topic for students to be aware of. Many college students go through a lot of stress, especially during finals and the holidays,” said Geislinger, of Woodbury, Minn., who is majoring in human development family studies.

Final exams for the fall semester began Monday, Dec. 16, and end Friday, Dec. 20, at UW-Stout.

Student videographer Scott Fischer, of Rice Lake, took the photos and created the video. The video can be seen at the link attached to this story.

During a video premiere on campus, John Achter, director of the University Counseling Center, reminded students of the many resources available if they or their friends are in need of assistance. Information on the resources is included in the video.

The Counseling Center, on the fourth floor of Bowman Hall, can be reached at 715-232-2468.


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