Virginia Tech students have organized "Choose Tomorrow," a weeklong suicide prevention and mental health awareness campaign aimed at raising greater awareness on this growing national epidemic.

Workshops, public lectures, informational displays and vigils will be held on campus beginning Oct. 13, and will conclude with a benefit auction on Oct. 17. Most events are free and open to the public (except where noted).

It is estimated that 54 million Americans are affected by mental illness each year, and some who suffer from mental illness may turn to suicide. Advances in medical research, treatment and counseling have helped to lessen the stigma often associated with mental illness.

Scheduled events include:

  • Monday, Oct. 13 to Wednesday, Oct. 15: Survivor's Memorial, all day.
    A wall of remembrance will be on display on the Virginia Tech Drillfield. The community is invited to write reflections on losing a friend or family member to suicide.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 14 and Wednesday, Oct. 15:
    Virginia Tech students will lead workshops in university residence halls to help their peers learn more about depression, the stigma of mental illness, and recognizing someone at risk of suicide. Workshops are open to Virginia Tech students only.
  • Thursday, Oct. 16: Concert, Speaker and Candlelight Vigil, 6 to 7:30 p.m.
    The band " will perform and speakers will talk about their experiences with mental illness and suicide. The evening will conclude with a candlelight vigil for all those affected in any way by suicide or mental health, to be held after the concert
  • Friday, Oct. 17: Choose Tomorrow" Auction, 7 p.m.
    This event will be held at the German Club Manor (711 Southgate Dr., Blacksburg). Proceeds will benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Association of the New River Valley.

"Choose Tomorrow" is sponsored by the German Club of Virginia Tech. Further information is available by contacting John Grantham at