September 22, 2016
Tagged: Peer Educators

Learning to Cope

News, General News

by Dan Rossi '16
For a second year, Project Semicolon is helping Adelphi students to cope with loneliness and despair.
Project Semicolon booth in the Ruth S. Harley University Center

The Project Semicolon booth in the Ruth S. Harley University Center.

September is Suicide Prevention Month, and Adelphi is committed to aiding the cause. In addition to 2016 being the University’s second year of supporting Project Semicolon on campus, Adelphi is offering Question, Persuade and Refer (QPR) suicide prevention training on September 29, 2016.

The Health and Wellness Peer Educators brought Project Semicolon to Adelphi when Jacqueline Cartabuke, Ph.D.(c), director of health services, believed it would be a great way to start a conversation about mental health at Adelphi.

“I came across Project Semicolon on Facebook last year and found it to be associated with several factors that we notice within the Adelphi campus on a daily basis,” Cartabuke explained. Adelphi’s first Project Semicolon awareness event was in November 2015, and was met with great support from the students. “As the healthcare provider for the campus, I meet students frequently who feel lost, alone and desperate.”

Project Semicolon was founded in 2014 by Amy Bleuel, who struggled with mental illness for more than 20 years and lost her father to suicide.

Project Semicolon’s website explains the simple, yet powerful, meaning behind the symbol: “A semicolon is used when an author could’ve ended a sentence but chose not to. You are the author and the sentence is your life.” Lauren Dolinski, health educator and adviser at the Health and Wellness Peer Education Center, expanded on this, explaining that “this small symbol has opened up a big conversation amongst students and staff and shows that Adelphi is a welcoming place.”

Adelphi Project Semicolon representatives will be in the Ruth S. Harley University Center lobby every Friday of September 2016. The QPR suicide prevention course will be held on September 29 from 12:00–1:30 p.m. in the Ruth S. Harley University Center, Room 211, and will train attendees on how to recognize and address warning signs in suicidal persons.

Bleuel’s story goes on, and she invites others to share theirs and build a community of support and compassion. To learn more or to share your story, visit

Tagged: Peer Educators
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