Mizzou display targets problem of student suicides

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COLUMBIA - 1,100 t-shirts littered MU's campus Tuesday to represent the average number of college students who commit suicide each year across the country. 

The rows of colored shirts are an eye-opening reminder of how prevalent suicide is. 

Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC's research shows, more than 100 people take their own life everyday in the United States, which is equivalent to a person every 13 minutes. 

The t-shirt display Tuesday was put on by Active Minds Mizzou, a mental health advocacy organization. 

Active Minds advisor Christine Glissmann explained mental health is like physical health, both must be well-maintained. 

Glissman said there are three things we can do as a community to improve mental health awareness. First, improve the language used to classify people suffering from mental health problems. Second, remove the negative stigma. 

"There is a fear that if you say you have a mental illness or you are diagnosed with a mental illness that you'll be seen as weak," Glissmann said. "Actually, it takes a lot of strength to actually be able to say, 'Hey I need help.'" 

Lastly, Glissmann said she believes it's important to stay educated about mental health and willing to talk to people who might be struggling.

Dr. Kim Daniels, a licensed psychologist at the MU Counseling Center, said, "It is important to understand what options people have at their expense."

"There are several types of resources for people with mental health problems, its just about finding what works best for you," Daniels said. "Often times its best to start with your primary care physician."