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Getting Help. Giving Help.

The end of a semester, juggling family and work, and the hustle and bustle of the pending holiday season can present real challenges.  Unfortunately, this stress can hit pretty hard.  This Week @ Kirtland, Coordinator of Student Support Services and Academic Advisor Caryn Schutte provides some important information about the serious topic of depression during the holiday season.

Caryn shares:  For most of us, the holiday season brings joy, peace and the warmth of family and friends. Unfortunately, for others, it brings depression and loneliness.  For these reasons, we bring to your attention the risk of suicide and some very important tools and resources to help you or someone you know.

Kirtland-Suicide-Prevention-HotlineSuicide is a serious public health problem that can have lasting harmful effects on individuals, families and communities.  If you feel there is a risk of suicide for yourself or someone you know, please remember there are resources to help. There are professional mental health workers, pastors, public safety officials and Suicide Prevention Hotline personal who are trained to help in such emergencies.

No matter what problems you are struggling with, hurting yourself isn’t the answer. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to talk to a counselor at a Lifeline crisis center near you.  By calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255) you’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7.  If you have questions about someone you know, you can also check out and tap into a vast array of resources.


Another tip is this easy-to-remember Mnemonic device from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website ( to help spot someone at risk for suicide:


I           Ideation

S          Substance Abuse


P          Purposelessness

A         Anxiety

T          Trapped

H         Hopelessness


W        Withdrawal

A         Anger

R          Recklessness

M         Mood Changes


The following are more helpful links to websites for suicide, loss and grief:

Suicide Resource Prevention Center:
Grief Net:
Journey of Hearts:

Getting help is important.  And so is GIVING help.

Kirtland-Afghanistan-DonationsMembers of the military who are deployed overseas are especially at risk for depression during the holidays.  To show support for our troops of Michigan units in Afghanistan, Kirtland’s newly formed Veterans Helping Veterans group is looking for support to help with Operation: Soldier First Aid from Home.

Kirtland student and US Army vet Charlie Puzjak has a project designed to GIVE to our soldiers each month.  “We are currently sending packages to Michigan units serving in Afghanistan to reassure them that they are being thought about daily and will never be forgotten for all the sacrifices they are making for us,” says Puzjak.  “If you know of any units that will be deploying or who have already deployed to Afghanistan, please forward a contact name and address so that we can include that unit in our Operation: Soldier First Aid from Home outreach.”

Donated Items may be dropped off at boxes located around Kirtland’s Central Campus or at the Roscommon County Weekly at 19665 N. St. Helen Rd, St. Helen, MI 48656. For information on making cash/check donations, contact Charlie Puzjak at or 989-709-0894.  Look for the donations boxes for a list of needed items to be sent to US military personnel serving overseas each month.

Remember, happiness comes from both getting AND giving during the holidays.  Please be safe and have a joyful holiday season!

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Your future.  It’s closer than you think.  And it all begins @ Kirtland!