For Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month, Concordia is seizing the opportunity to train, support, and raise awareness about mental health for the betterment of its community.

The university has set aside the week of September 18-22 as Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Awareness Week. There will be a slate of keynote speakers, suicide prevention training sessions, care outreach workshops, a mental health resource fair, and more opportunities for students and employees.

Check out the schedule of events below and look for ways to get involved.

Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Training

Concordia’s Office of Student Success, in partnership with CUW’s JED team, has set a bold goal to have at least 50% of its campus community participate in QPR training by the end of the 2023-24 academic year.

Just like CPR, QPR is an emergency response to someone in crisis that can save lives. QPR is the most widely taught gatekeeper training in the world.

QPR stands for question, persuade, and refer. At the end of a one-hour training, employees and students will be able to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and know how to take appropriate and proven steps toward de-escalating it or referring the person to help.

Various QPR training sessions will be offered throughout Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Awareness Week. Space is limited to 35 participants per session and registration is required. Space is filling up fast for the week, so sign up soon. If you miss this opportunity to sign up, there will be future training sessions offered.

Monday, Sept. 18

  • 8-9 a.m. | Lakeshore Room
  • 10-11 a.m. | Lakeshore Room
  • 12 p.m.-1 p.m. | Lakeshore Room
  • 3-4 p.m. | Lakeshore Room

Tuesday, Sept. 19

  • 8-9 a.m. | Lakeshore Room
  • 5-6 p.m. | Lakeshore Room

Wednesday, Sept. 20

  • 8-9 a.m. | Lakeshore Room
  • 10-11 a.m. |Terrace Room
  • 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | Terrace Room

Thursday, Sept. 21

  • 8-9 a.m. | Lakeshore Room
  • 10:30-11:30 a.m. | Lakeshore Room
  • 4:30-5:30 p.m. | Lakeshore Room

Friday, Sept. 22

  • 9-10 a.m. | Lakeshore Room

Keynote Speakers

Concordia welcomes three speakers who will offer a wealth of insight on various topics impacting mental health. Registration for these keynote speakers is requested but not required.

Dennis Gillan on “Suicide Prevention”

Mental Health Advocate

Wednesday, Sept. 20 | 1-2:30 p.m. | Todd Wehr Auditorium

Dennis Gillan is a TEDx speaker, author, and the Executive Director of the Half A Sorrow Foundation.

Dennis lost two brothers to suicide, eleven years apart. After years of sitting on the sidelines, he jumped into helping those in need by working on the suicide prevention hotline when he lived in Chicago. After moving to South Carolina, he got involved with several non-profits and lobbies tirelessly for more mental health spending. He is on a mission to reverse the current trends in completed suicides and to seriously reduce the stigma associated with getting help for one’s mental health.

Dennis has a real gift for telling his personal story of how he has (sort of) recovered from the loss of his two brothers and what he has learned along the way. He makes the room feel safe and people stick around to talk to him for hours after his talk.

Dawn Cataldo, MSEd, LPC-IT on “Eating Disorders”

On-campus Mental and Behavioral Health Counselor

Tuesday, Sept. 19 | 7-8:30 p.m. | Luptak Terrace Room – AL114 or livestream

Full of passion and energy, Dawn Cataldo seeks to help others on their path to living well in their bodies and enjoying life. Her own personal struggle with an eating disorder from the age of 14 into her adult life brought new light into her life. It was evident that the struggle was for a purpose.

What began as a personal journey in 2012 by getting her Health Coach certification, expanded into something with more purpose than just for herself. She continued on to get certified as a Pilates Movement Therapist and now is a Professional Licensed Counselor IT in the state of Wisconsin. Dawn is working towards being certified as an Eating Disorder Specialist and is a member of the American Counseling Association and International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals with affiliation to the Milwaukee Chapter. She values sharing her story and feels it is part of her mission to serve others.

Tim Decorah on “Anxiety and Athletics”

Teacher, coach, and mental health advocate

Thursday, Sept. 21 | 7-8:30 p.m. | Todd Wehr Auditorium

As a lifelong teacher and coach, very few knew what was going on in Tim Decorah’s anxiety and panic-stricken world. Join us as we listen to Tim talk about adversities through childhood into his college years as a student-athlete that ultimately led to battling anxiety as an adult. He will discuss some of the ‘highs’ of his life in academics and athletics and his professional career and will also share how he struggled with the ‘lows’ that accompanied his mental illness. Learn skills Tim uses that can be used to navigate your college experience and into your adult and professional life.

Showing Up to Offer Care

Concordia students and employees are encouraged to attend any of the Showing Up workshop sessions or drop-in activities offered throughout the week in order to learn the skills of extending effective human care and comfort to others. Showing Up is a training program offered through the nonprofit organization Inspiring Comfort, which exists to normalize conversations and inspire action in the difficult, messy spots of life by equipping individuals with the skills to show up for others. A group of 10 CUW faculty and staff members completed Inspiring Comfort’s certification over the summer and will serve as the trainers for Concordia’s Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Awareness Week.

Showing Up Workshops

Learn actionable strategies for navigating uncomfortable conversations, strengthening your relationships, and making new connections.


  • Tuesday, Sept. 19 | 1:30-3 p.m. | Terrace Room
  • Thursday, Sept. 21 | 3-4:30 p.m. | Terrace Room
  • Friday, Sept. 22 | 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. | Terrace Room


  • Monday, Sept. 18 | 3-4 p.m. | Terrace Room
  • Thursday, Sept. 21 | 2-3 p.m. | Terrace Room
  • Friday, Sept. 22 | 10:30-11:30 a.m. | Terrace Room

Drop-in Connection Activities

Create a comfort plaque for someone in need of support. Drop in anytime during the designated session.

  • Tuesday, Sept. 19 | 3-4:30 p.m. | Terrace Room
  • Wednesday, Sept. 20 | 3-4 p.m. | Pharmacy 132 (during the Mental Health Fair)
  • Friday, Sept. 22 | 12-1:30 p.m. | Terrace Room

Employee Lunch ’n Learn Team Connection Workshop

Have lunch on HR and get to know a fellow CUW employee. You’ll leave this workshop with a personalized message of support from your new connection.

  • Thursday, Sept. 21 | 12 p.m. | Lakeshore Room

No Need to Register

Mental Health Resource Fair

Wednesday, Sept. 20 | 3-5 p.m. | Pharmacy 132

Representatives including students, staff and the Concordia community will have table displays to help inform you of resources that exist for mental health support. Students who attend have the chance to win prizes!

Mind, Body, Spirit Yoga

Friday, Sept. 22 | 9-10 a.m. | Terrace Room

Campus Activities Board brings a special yoga session to CUW, led by Debbie Tews, who is a local occupational therapist. This hour-long class will focus on connecting mind, body, and spirit, and will be good for the soul. Feel free to bring a yoga mat of your own. Otherwise, mats will be provided.

*This will be a special Falcon Frenzy event! Attend to enter in the raffle to win BIG!

Day of Bingos

Friday, Sept. 22 | 2 p.m., 5.p.m., 8 p.m. | Albrecht Lounge

What better way to spend a day off than playing BINGO?! Join CAB for a special “Day of Bingos” in which you can win a variety of prizes each session. The themes are as follows:

  • 2 p.m. – Crumbl Cookies Bingo
  • 5 p.m. – Gift Cards Bingo
  • 8 p.m. – Late Night Bingo.

*This will be a special Falcon Frenzy event! Attend to enter in the raffle to win BIG!

Wellness Journaling

Saturday, Sept. 23 | 6:30-7:30 p.m. | Albrecht Lounge

Join Concordia’s Peer Support Network for an evening of Wellness Journaling! The first 50 attendees will receive their very own “Wreck this Journal.” If you already have one, bring it!

*This will be a special Falcon Frenzy event! Attend to enter in the raffle to win BIG!