Depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide have the ability to take over the people we love and care for, or even ourselves, quickly and carelessly.
According to the To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA) website, TWLOHA “is a nonprofit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire and invest directly into treatment and recovery.”
The nonprofit organization was founded in 2007 by Jamie Tworkowski, who was helping a friend going through the struggles listed above. Tworkowski wrote a story about his time spent with his friend before she went to a treatment center.
In helping her, Tworkowski sold t-shirts to assist with the costs the treatment center would entail, and the day his friend was admitted, he posted the story he had written to MySpace. The story went viral and touched the hearts of several other individuals around the world experiencing the same struggles.
On March 8, the Circle K Club here at Keene State College brought To Write Love on Her Arms to campus in the Mabel Brown Room.
The room was filled with upbeat music and tables from various organizations that connected to bringing awareness in a variety of ways, along with activities such as Zumba.
Sophomore and Circle K Club member Faith Pudlo said the event’s purpose is suicide awareness.
“This is globally an issue and we are bringing a small part of awareness here to Keene State. It’s to show that people are really not alone and there’s this feeling of a sense of community,” Pudlo said.
Pudlo and other Circle K Club members had a welcome table filled with smiles and gift baskets to raffle off at the end of the night.
One activity the club included was the wishing well fears and dreams, which allowed event attendees to write what they fear and dream of in their future.
Tables around the room included The Samaritans Inc, WKNH, Mentors in Violence Prevention, KSC Beautiful Lengths, Campus Ministry and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Each group had their own individual table focused in on connecting to TWLOHA.
The Samaritans Inc table covered suicide prevention for survivors of suicide attempt and information for being able to volunteer. MVP members were there to support the event and bring awareness to sexual violence.
KSC Beautiful Lengths volunteers sophomore Maria Aiello and sophomore Aimee Krafft were supporting TWLOHA and seeking individuals to donate their hair in a few weeks at their event.
“We are looking for people to donate at least eight inches of their hair and it can’t be bleached, dyed or have chemical treatments to it. The donated hair goes to wigs being made for cancer patients that they receive free of cost,” Aiello said.
The Campus Ministry had a post-secret and confessional trifold set up by their campus minister Cindy Cheshire.
“Anyone is able to fill out a postcard with something that they may need to get off their chest; it can be anything. They can either put it in the postsecret section or the confessional section. If they just want to get it off their chest and never speak of it again, they can do that. If they need someone to talk to, they also have that option,” Cheshire said.
With the ministry, anyone’s secrets are kept safe and confidential, according to Cheshire. She said, “It makes people aware that they are not alone.”
The Counseling Center is open and available to anyone on campus. It is located in the Elliot Center and is open during the academic year from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Emma Hamilton can be contacted at email@example.com