BIRMINGHAM, Ala (WIAT) — Students at UAB are raising awareness about mental health for Suicide Prevention Awareness Week.

UAB Active Minds on-campus organization placed 1,100 paper cranes on the campus green to get classmates’ attention. The number of paper cranes represents the number of college students nationwide who took their own lives within the last year.

Each crane had a special note of encouragement or a student’s personal story. Elizabeth Pollard is a Sophmore at UAB and says Active Minds helped her through difficult times.

“When I came to college I struggled with mental health, like depression and anxiety, and I didn’t know so many people on campus here struggled with that,” said Pollard. “The stigma around it just made me feel like I couldn’t talk to anyone about it, but hearing active minds and people talk about it really helped me to become more open about it.”

Active Minds helps connect students with on-campus mental health resources.

“College is an age where a lot of people start to struggle with mental health issues that can get stressful with all the classes and everything going on,” said Pollard. “So we just wanted to make college a more positive environment and less stigma around mental health.”

To learn more about Active Minds and the Cranes oh Hope event, click here.