Increased suicide rates prompt local activism

1 year 5 months 4 weeks ago Friday, June 08 2018 Jun 8, 2018 Friday, June 08, 2018 1:48:00 PM CDT June 08, 2018 in News
By: Lindsey Wilkerson, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Following the deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention will host its Advocacy Forum in Washington D.C. next week.

Becca Pamperl will represent mid-Missouri at the conference to speak to legislators and public health officials about suicide prevention.

In 2003, Becca Pamperl lost her brother, Richard Lewis, to suicide. Since then, she has become an advocate for suicide prevention.

Pamperl picked up a picture of she and Richard from a wedding they both attended and reflected back on the past.

"Sometimes I wish that I could go back to that time. I wish that all the time, actually, that I could go back to this day with him just like this and talk to him," she said. "I unfortunately cannot, so I am just here now to be his voice."

Although the AFSP Advocacy Forum happens every year during the summer, suicide awareness has gained more national attention after, on Tuesday, fashion designer Kate Spade killed herself. On Friday, Anthony Bourdain, a renowned chef and author, also died by suicide.

A recent study by the CDC was released this week. It found, on average, suicide rates increased by more than 30 percent since 1999.

In Missouri, the numbers were even more shocking. Suicide rates were 6 percent higher than the national average.

It also found more than half of suicides reported did not have any previously established mental health conditions.

For both Spade and Bourdain, close family and friends individually said their deaths were unexpected.

Pamperl said her brother attempted suicide on three separate occasions, but she never imagined that he would actually die. Before her brother died by suicide, Pamperl attempted suicide herself.

She said suicide was more stigmatized in the late 1990s to early 2000s, and although progress has been made, she hopes by advocating in D.C., people will seek help before choosing suicide.

"We just need people to know that they're not alone," she said.

Debra Walker, the deputy director of the Missouri Department of Mental Health, hopes that by raising awareness, people will realize suicide is not the only option.

"There are people who have mental illness, people that are in recovery from substance abuse disorders, that are living very full lives," she said.

Pamperl said at the AFSP Advocacy Forum, most lawmakers have their assistants meet with her, but U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Harrisonville, has met with her the past three years.

If you or a loved one are considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to speak confidentially with a mental health professional, or you can visit the organization's website.

More News

Grid
List
FULTON - The 71st annual Christmas parade took over the streets of Fulton on Saturday afternoon. This year's theme... More >>
10 hours ago Saturday, December 07 2019 Dec 7, 2019 Saturday, December 07, 2019 3:40:00 PM CST December 07, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Road signs honoring five Boone County veterans killed in combat in Iraq or Afghanistan were revealed Saturday. ... More >>
10 hours ago Saturday, December 07 2019 Dec 7, 2019 Saturday, December 07, 2019 3:36:00 PM CST December 07, 2019 in News
CAMDEN COUNTY — One person was transported to the hospital Friday night after being ejected from their vehicle. The... More >>
10 hours ago Saturday, December 07 2019 Dec 7, 2019 Saturday, December 07, 2019 3:17:00 PM CST December 07, 2019 in News
TIPTON — A shooting suspect is in the hospital after authorities shot him five times, according to a news release... More >>
17 hours ago Saturday, December 07 2019 Dec 7, 2019 Saturday, December 07, 2019 8:50:00 AM CST December 07, 2019 in News
FULTON - Police are investigating after shots were fired at a Break Time in Fulton Friday night. According to... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 07 2019 Dec 7, 2019 Saturday, December 07, 2019 1:25:00 AM CST December 07, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - MU spokesman Christian Basi, confirmed the man who died after being hit by a car on College Ave... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 9:34:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Central Missouri Humane Society is waiving adoption fees this weekend, just in time for the holiday season.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 6:36:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
MISSOURI - Missouri’s minimum wage rate is set to go up again soon. The state minimum wage will increase... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 5:21:41 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Governor Mike Parson and First Lady Teresa Parson are inviting families to join them at the Governor's... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 3:50:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
BOONEVILLE - The Cooper County Sheriff's Office is asking travelers to find an alternate route on Highway 41 going to... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 3:02:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Former Columbia police chief Ken Burton has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor after originally being charged with driving... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 2:45:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
HALLSVILLE - Kari Hallowell, the mother of 17-year-old Hayden Holt, who died in an overnight car crash after being chased... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 2:04:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP)- Two U.S. officials have identified the shooter at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola as a second... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 1:53:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - This weekend, 47 high school basketball teams from five states will go head-to-head in the 2019 Norm Stewart... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 1:24:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA- Former MU Quarterback Drew Lock is set to make his second start with the Denver Broncos this Sunday versus... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 12:28:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in Sports
BOONE COUNTY- A 52-year-old male suffered two gunshot wounds Thursday night after getting into a fight with two people at... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 10:53:00 AM CST December 06, 2019 in News
RICH HILL- Relatives of a missing Missouri mother say they are growing increasingly concerned after deputies found the woman's phone,... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 10:22:00 AM CST December 06, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri State Highway Patrol confirmed Hayden Holt, a 17-year-old from Hallsville, died in an overnight car crash... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 6:41:00 AM CST December 06, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 34°
2am 39°
3am 39°
4am 38°
5am 37°