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Making a difference: Colonels raise awareness for EKU's suicide prevention services

Richmond Register - 4/11/2018

April 11--Despite falling to the University of Kentucky, 1-0, Tuesday at Getrude Hood Field, the Colonels had plenty of reasons to be proud.

Events at the game highlighted the work of the EKU Suicide Prevention Efforts within the university's psychology clinic.

For shortstop Hannah Clark and many of her teammates, the cause is one close to their hearts.

"For me personally, my dad passed away when I was younger from suicide," Clark said of her personal connection. "We also have a teammate who had a member of her family pass away from suicide. So, suicide is a big deal for the people on our team."

As both college students and athletes, Clark said suicide prevention awareness is particularly impactful at EKU as suicide is the second leading cause of death on college campuses.

"I think we had a couple of suicide events happen on campus and it's just really difficult, especially if you are a college student. We have so much going on and we have lot to deal with and a lot of pressure from classes and our peers. Just to know that someone is there for you is a big deal. A lot of people don't have that and have that kind of support," Clark said.

That's why it was important for the team to highlight what is being done at EKU to prevent suicide and to foster honest and open discussions about how to get help.

Clark said the team met with Dr. Melinda Moore, an assistant professor in the department of psychology and a clinical psychologist in the EKU Clinic, and learned about the services provided to EKU students, faculty, staff and community members who have suicidal ideation and behavior.

The university also has a support group for individuals whose lives have been touched by suicide which meets twice monthly.

"We just really wanted to work with the EKU psychology clinic. We met with Dr. Moore and she told us that she doesn't really get a whole lot of funding through the school. So we just wanted to be able to work with her and be able to provide the funds needed for the wonderful things she does for suicide survivors. That was a big deal for us," Clark said.

As part of the partnership, EKU softball seat cushions were given away. The squad's warm-up jackets and other items were also donated as part of a silent auction during the game.

All proceeds from the game went to the EKU Psychology Clinic's Suicide Prevention Services.

"Suicide Prevention is our chosen charity this year because we are passionate about helping our community here at EKU," EKU Softball team volunteer assistant coach Kayla Joyce said. "Our team wanted to do what we can to help those who might be suffering. We want to raise awareness about suicide, as well as reach out to our students, faculty, and community and let them know that there are services right here on our campus that are here to help. We want our fellow EKU community members who may be struggling to know that they are not alone and that there is help."

EKU lost to No. 20 Kentucky, 10-0, last Tuesday in Lexington.

This time around, the Colonels held Kentucky to just five hits.

The Colonel (22-13) defense kept Kentucky runners in check all evening, leaving 11 runners on base, five of which were in scoring position.

However, the Wildcats (25-11) got on the board thanks to Katie Reed, who drove in the only run of the game in the second inning on a single.

Kentucky also had help from pitcher Erin Rethlake, who threw a complete-game shutout in 109 pitches. She allowed only two hits in seven innings and walked two. The pitcher had a season-high eight strikeouts.

For the Colonels, Zoe Mihalicz brought a spark to the dugout when she drilled a one-out double to right center in the bottom of the seventh.

Emily Corbitt walked to put two on, but Kentucky dashed any hopes of a comeback when the Wildcats turned a double play in the infield on the next batter ending the game.

Mollie Paulick notched a hit for the Colonels, going 1-of-2.

EKU will take on the Hilltoppers at WKU at 3 p.m. today.

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(c)2018 the Richmond Register (Richmond, Ky.)

Visit the Richmond Register (Richmond, Ky.) at richmondregister.com

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