MEC Hosts Suicide Awareness Documentary Panel

MEC Program Manager Maria Nieto-Shahsavarian (left) talks with a counselor

The Medical Education Campus (MEC) hosted “Don’t Change the Subject,” the first of six suicide awareness events to be held on all six NOVA campuses. The event consisted of a screening of the documentary by the same name, which takes a somewhat irreverent view of this heavy subject, as one man tries to answer questions regarding his own mother’s suicide when he was 12 years old. Following the film, a panel discussion featured Dr. Philip Magalong, MEC’s new disability services counselor; Mark Taylor and Dave Galloway of the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program; Michelle Flanagan Short, CrisisLink volunteers and training director; and MaryAnn Raybuck, NOVA case manager for the Office of Student Mental Health and Behavior.

MEC panelists
Panelists included (left to right) Mark Taylor, Dave Galloway, Philip Magalong and MaryAnn Raybuck (standing). Not pictured: Michelle Flanagan Short.

The event was well attended and participants included several social workers and counselors from Jeb Stuart and West Springfield high schools. Participants were engaged as they asked questions about services available through NOVA and the various community organizations.

Panelists emphasized individuals do not have to be suicidal to call a hotline. Anyone can call if they are worried about themselves or someone else. Call CrisisLink at 1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-SUICIDE. If you are a veteran (not active duty) or family of a veteran, call the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program: Alexandria 703-746-3400; Arlington 703-228-5160; Fairfax/Falls Church 703-573-5679; Loudoun 703-777-0320; Prince William 703-792-7800 or x4900.

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