Cleo Goeckner, a mental health awareness advocate, will speak at Wartburg College Thursday, Jan. 14.

The free event begins at 7 p.m. in Whitehouse Business Center 214 and is sponsored by the student-led organization Suicide Awareness for Everyone.

“We think everyone can benefit from learning more about mental illnesses,” said Kaitlyn Behnken, S.A.F.E. president. “Our group’s goals are to start the conversation about it and end the stigma associated with mental illness. We think Cleo’s story will inspire many.”

Goeckner, a student at the University of Iowa, will talk about her struggle with mental illness and inspiration for creating Brain Chains, a chainmaille bracelet project for mental health awareness.

“Our goals are to support the acceptance of mental illnesses as common and real everyday experiences for individuals across the globe and to embrace the different ways minds work,” Goeckner said. “The bracelets are a symbol and reminder of strength, perseverance and learning as those of us with mental illness work to achieve vitality in life.”

A panel of Wartburg students will talk about their experiences with mental illness and take questions following the presentation.