MU students aim to change conversation about suicide

1 year 8 months 2 weeks ago September 10, 2015 Sep 10, 2015 Thursday, September 10 2015 Thursday, September 10, 2015 3:01:00 PM CDT in News
By: Morgan Young, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Hundreds are expected to gather on MU's Francis Quadrangle Thursday night to remember the lives of loved ones lost to suicide. The Mizzou Suicide Prevention Coalition hosts the memorial to commemorate World Suicide Prevention Day, as a part of National Suicide Prevention Week. 

This is the second year the event will take place. Expected attendance has grown so large,organizers say they won't release balloons as planned.

 

"We were only expecting about 100 to 200 people to attend," Schroer said. "I checked my Facebook page a few days later and saw that over 800 had RSVP'd. We knew there was no way we would be able to blow up that many balloons in that time. "

Instead, a butterfly will be released for anyone who donates five dollars to the organizations philanthropic efforts. The event's Facebook page said all proceeds collected will go toward a documentary film project.

MSPC works year-round to change the conversation about suicide and the way it is portrayed in the media. 

Colleen O'Brien, a member of the MSPC steering committee, said she thinks there needs to be change in how young people are educated about the issue of death and an increase in sensitivity with how death is discussed.

"In high school, I took a death and dying class and that was so helpful to me," O'Brien said. 

Shortly after she took the class, O'Brien's father took his own life. She said everything she learned in her class stuck with her and helped her more than she ever thought it would while she was in it.

Classes and more conversation about the mental illness that often affects suicide victims are major priorities of MSPC and create the foundation for events like the butterfly release.

"One in four adults suffers from mental illness," Schroer said. "Mental illness causes people to see a completely different reality that, although isn't exactly what is happening, is completely real to them. People who can't understand that are usually the ones who lack sympathy and the ability to discuss this issue."

The National Alliance on Mental Illness website says suicide is the 10th leading cause of death, and occurs more often than homicide. 90 percent of suicide victims had at least one mental disorder.

A study done by the University of Missouri-St.Louis showed, in Missouri, suicide was the leading cause of death in 2013 with nearly 1,000 victims. The study showed suicide took more lives than homicide or motor vehicle accidents.

Missouri placed 18th out of the 50 states for most suicide deaths per 100,000 people with 15.88. This surpassed the national average of 13.02.

"One of the major reasons we started this organization is because we realized we couldn't really talk about the grief we had over the people we lost to suicide," Schroer said. "It's an issue that affects so many, and we should be able to talk about it. Facilitating that conversation is something we are constantly trying to do."

 

More News

Grid
List
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A woman is dead and a man critically wounded after shootings in St. Louis' Baden neighborhood.... More >>
31 minutes ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 12:38:59 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Lincoln University announced Mike Middleton as its interim president Thursday as it prepares for current president Kevin... More >>
1 hour ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 11:55:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A report of a chemical smell coming from a hotel room turned out to be from white powder... More >>
1 hour ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 11:24:00 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City's Boys and Girls Club opened its new facility after three years without headquarters. "When... More >>
4 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 9:08:00 AM CDT in News
RAYTOWN (AP) — A Kansas City-area middle school is offering support to students who saw a body hanging from a... More >>
4 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 8:33:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A bridge over Interstate 270 near St. Louis will be closed for the next three months.... More >>
5 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 7:51:57 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The federal agency investigating an April 3 explosion that killed four people in south St. Louis... More >>
6 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 6:35:42 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - MU has found its new chancellor. On Wednesday, UM System President Mun Choi introduced Alexander Cartwright as... More >>
13 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 12:10:00 AM CDT in Top Stories
FAYETTE - The city of Fayette Wednesday night issued an immediate boil advisory until further notice for all residents affected... More >>
15 hours ago May 24, 2017 May 24, 2017 Wednesday, May 24 2017 Wednesday, May 24, 2017 10:06:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Democratic state lawmaker has taped messages from constituents to Republican Gov. Eric Greitens's door urging... More >>
16 hours ago May 24, 2017 May 24, 2017 Wednesday, May 24 2017 Wednesday, May 24, 2017 8:28:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A Target 8 investigation background checked Columbia Uber drivers and took a closer look at the ride-share company’s... More >>
18 hours ago May 24, 2017 May 24, 2017 Wednesday, May 24 2017 Wednesday, May 24, 2017 6:57:00 PM CDT in Target 8
MOBERLY - Moberly no longer will euthanize animals with a gas chamber. In exchange for getting rid of the... More >>
19 hours ago May 24, 2017 May 24, 2017 Wednesday, May 24 2017 Wednesday, May 24, 2017 5:39:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia visitor Zach Walther describes Uber as "convenient." The 23-year-old frequently uses the ride-sharing app, which arrived... More >>
19 hours ago May 24, 2017 May 24, 2017 Wednesday, May 24 2017 Wednesday, May 24, 2017 5:28:00 PM CDT in Target 8
ST. CHARLES - The third day of the murder trial involving the death of a Missouri state trooper ended with... More >>
19 hours ago May 24, 2017 May 24, 2017 Wednesday, May 24 2017 Wednesday, May 24, 2017 5:20:00 PM CDT in News
OSAGE BEACH - Two detention officers were recognized by the Missouri Sheriffs Association for taking quick action that saved the... More >>
20 hours ago May 24, 2017 May 24, 2017 Wednesday, May 24 2017 Wednesday, May 24, 2017 4:19:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY- Gov. Eric Greitens is looking to Washington for financial help to help those affected by major flooding in... More >>
21 hours ago May 24, 2017 May 24, 2017 Wednesday, May 24 2017 Wednesday, May 24, 2017 4:05:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY – As Missouri lawmakers continue discussions regarding the so-called "steel mill bill," legislators from both sides have pitched... More >>
21 hours ago May 24, 2017 May 24, 2017 Wednesday, May 24 2017 Wednesday, May 24, 2017 3:41:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY – A Columbia man was sentenced in federal court for his role in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.... More >>
22 hours ago May 24, 2017 May 24, 2017 Wednesday, May 24 2017 Wednesday, May 24, 2017 2:55:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 67°
1pm 71°
2pm 72°
3pm 74°
4pm 75°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

1:00p
Days of Our Lives
2:00p
The Dr. Oz Show
3:00p
Dr. Phil
1:00p
Maury
2:00p
Judge Alex
2:30p
Judge Alex

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
American Ninja Warrior
8:00p
Running Wild with Bear Grylls
9:00p
Red Nose Day
7:00p
Supernatural
8:00p
Supernatural
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld