Students raise awareness for suicide prevention month with flags

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COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX)- A student organization called Active Minds from Texas A&M University put out 1,100 flags in honor of the 1,100 students who commit suicide nationwide.

According to Alicia Steinley, a member of Active Minds, suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students.

"Each year 1,100 students nationwide take their lives on college campuses, so we are out here spreading awareness," said Steinley.

In honor of each student lost in the past year, the group has placed 1,100 flags in the middle of the Academic Plaza for students to see.

"As a whole, our organization tries to stop the stigma about mental illness on campus and just start the conversation, so, what we're really doing today is just really starting the conversation about suicide awareness and mental health in general," said Steinley.

Seeing the field covered with flags brought attention to students walking by.

"I think this kind of shows how big of a problem that it is, and opens up peoples minds," said Steinley.

For some of the members, spreading the awareness is more than putting out a flag.

"It's something really important to me -- my dad committed suicide when I was 15, so knowing that people are coming up and asking questions, it just means a lot to me," said Steinley.

Although the flags will stay up until Wedneday night, the students of Active Minds continue to hold events throughout the year.