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MSU-Meridian to host film, panel on suicide awareness

Meridian Star - 3/30/2019

March 29-- Mar. 29--Talking openly about suicide is one way to bring awareness to the issue.

That's the idea behind "Suicide -- the Ripple Effect", a film that will be shown at MSU-Meridian next week.

The film tells the story of Kevin Hines, who attempted suicide at age 19 by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. The screening is planned for 7 p.m. on Tuesday in the Kahlmus auditorium on MSU-Meridian's College Park Campus.

After the film, there will be a panel discussion with mental health professionals, with resources provided by Weems Community Mental Health Center and other mental health organizations.

Panelist Lee Lee Marlow, the children and youth services director at Weems, said the issue is important because of high rates of suicide among young people. According to Marlow, 18 percent of ninth to twelfth graders have considered suicide, while nine percent have made a suicide attempt.

"It's always been a big issue, but currently the statistics show it is the second leading cause of death among school-aged youth," Marlow said.

Marlow said warning signs for those at risk of suicide include changes in behavior, talking about death and giving away important things. Other signs include making suicidal notes or threats and having a family history of suicide.

Marlow said the events such as the film screening are important because suicide affects everyone. By being aware of the issue, it can be prevented, she said.

"We as a community need to be better equipped to handle it," Marlow said. "We can't keep making suicide 'a sweep it under the rug and don't talk about it type of issue'."

Those needing help are urged to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or Crisis Text Line (text "HOME" to 741741).


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