Preventing Suicide

1 decade 1 year 1 month ago Monday, September 10 2007 Sep 10, 2007 Monday, September 10, 2007 9:14:00 PM CDT September 10, 2007 in News

According to the Missouri Department of Mental Health, two people die from suicide each day. Suicide claims the lives of more than 700 Missourians each year. That's higher than the national average.

In 2004, the latest statistics available, suicide was the second leading cause of death for Missourians, ages 15 to 19. And in 2005, one in 14 Missouri students attempted suicide. Those statistics are from the Missouri Department of Mental Health.

One woman is fighting to beat those odds.

"Oh my god, I was right there with Chad when he had done it. Because my son died by suicide by running in front of a truck with me chasing him," recounted survivor Marian McCord. Chad died three years ago; he was eighteen years old.

"Um, it's shock. It's tremendous sadness. It is something that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. There is no greater gift than the gift of our children. And to lose a child and to lose a child by suicide, I don't think there is anything worse that can happen to a parent," explained McCord.

In her son's memory, McCord began an organization called "Chad's Coalition." Its aim is to educate others about suicide.

And just on Sunday, students at Central Methodist University lost a fellow classmate to suicide.

"I think of all the students on this campus as my sons and daughters, and so when you lose a family member that's human nature the question of what could you have done to prevent this. You always want to question yourself," said CMU Dean of Students Kenneth Oliver. McCord offers a message of hope.

"And we just need to get these kids to hang on. Yes times are going to be hard and yes, it's not going to be easy, but treatment is there and we've got to get that message to these kids," explained McCord.

Warning signs include isolation, talking about a desire to die, prolonged depression, giving away prized possessions and purchasing a gun or stockpiling pills.

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