STILLWATER, Okla. (KFOR) – A nonprofit worked with Oklahoma State University to give students a sense of hope and support.
Hope is Oxygen, a nonprofit that focuses on suicide prevention and hope restoration, sent messages of hope and support this past week to thousands of OSU students living on campus and within the Greek community.
Linda Pulver, a 1983 OSU alumna who benefited from mental health resources as a student, runs Hope is Oxygen. Pulver understands the impact that COVID-19 has had on students.
“College students around the nation are struggling with the impact from isolation,” she said. “Kids feel isolated, and many are struggling with depression or anxiety. When that happens, not everyone will become suicidal; some will resort to drugs or medicating with alcohol. These are behaviors that happen when you start losing hope.”
Pulver, OSU alumna Vicki Mosier and Dr. Douglas Hallenbeck, OSU’s vice president of Student Affairs, collaborated in providing 10,000 Hope Sacks to students before Thanksgiving.
Each sack contained letters from Hallenbeck, Pulver and mental health resources, including information about OSU’s University Counseling Services and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline phone number, 1-800-273-8255.
“You are important to Oklahoma State University, and I want you to know that we care about you,” Hallenbeck wrote in his letter. “While this year has been one stressful event after another, all while we are struggling to deal with the pandemic, I want you to know there is hope.
“The materials in this sack are designed to provide you the resources if you ever need them, whether for you, for a loved one or for a friend. As a member of the OSU community, you are not alone; the faculty and staff care about you and your well-being. Please reach out if you need help, and be a person that others can reach out to for support.”