By Tabitha Barr / Editor in Chief
Suicide is the 10th-leading cause of death in the world. It is the second-leading cause of death for ages 15-24. According to SAVE, the Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, there is one death by suicide in the United States every 12 minutes, and approximately 123 Americans die by suicide every day. Suicide affects more people than society may realize, and it often touches more than just one person.
Hutchinson Community College partnered with Horizons Mental Health Center to show a documentary about the ways suicide affects people. “Suicide: “The Ripple Effect” focuses on the story of Kevin Hines and his closeness with suicide. When Hines was 19, he attempted to take his own life by jumping off of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. After surviving, Hines is now a motivational speaker and a mental health advocate to help those that suffer from the same pain.
The feature-length film explains the hard truth about suicide and how devastating its effect can be. According to the film, “for every one suicide death, over 115 people are directly, and secondarily affected.”
Many college students have had more than one suicide situation that has touched their lives. Especially in today’s growing numbers, it’s happening more and more.
Beth Akins, a Horizon’s representative that showed the documentary, told students that they are not alone.
“The more we can talk about it, the more we become comfortable with it, the more people begin to think about their own thoughts and beliefs,” Akins said.
The showing of “The Ripple Effect” can open the conversation among people of all ages and give hope to those who need it.
Suicide is viewed by many as a taboo topic and one that should be ignored until it happens. However, pushing it away can hurt more than it might help. The documentary explains how one person’s experience, and journey to self-care, can prompt others to help themselves.
“It’s an epidemic,” Akins said. “That’s what this is all about.”
Showing this documentary to students educates them and it starts a chain reaction to helping those who need it.
After the documentary ended, Akins asked students if they would like to share their stories. Amy Glick, (hometown) sophomore in nursing, spoke out about her dealings with depression and thoughts of suicide, while also talking about her brother’s experience.
It was her senior year of high school when life seemed to overwhelm Glick to the point of no return.
“I was going to overdose on my dad’s prescription sleeping pills,” she said.
She didn’t see any other way out.
“I felt like the darkness was swallowing me up,” Glick said.
“But as I got out of my bed and stood up to go grab the pills, God stopped me. He paralyzed me and wouldn’t let me move. And that’s when I broke through the darkness.”
Glick’s story touched all of the students present, as some were touched to tears like Glick was.
“Your story is not over yet,” Glick said to the room full of students and everyone in the world. “You’re not alone.”
Unfortunately, the temptation of suicide didn’t just catch Glick, but also her younger brother.
When her brother, Curtis Glick was 17, he attempted suicide by stepping out into an oncoming car going 50 mph. Her family was the first one on the scene and found out it was him after getting closer. Statistically, most people don’t survive getting hit by a car moving 25 mph, let alone 50 mph. But her brother was a miracle wrapped in hope.
“There were no broken bones, there was no internal bleeding. The only thing wrong with him was a couple of bruises and scrapes from the road.” He didn’t have any physical damage from the area where the vehicle struck him.
From that point forward, her brother and everyone else in the family went to therapy and has spread their story to help others.
“Suicide: The Ripple Effect” documentary said, “It’s okay to be in pain; you’re human.” Everyone is affected by suicide and mental illnesses. The goal of this film is to give people the hope to keep living and the desire to open up the conversation.
“The ripple goes far and wide.”