Community Conversation about Suicide to Happen This Evening

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Wednesday, September 18, 2019, 11:42 am
By: 
Alice Dreger

East Lansing’s Public Library will play host to a special community conversation later today: “East Lansing Talks about Suicide and Self-Harm.” At last night’s City Council meeting, Council member Shanna Draheim urged citizens to consider attending to learn about the issues.

The program will start at 6 p.m. Wednesday (September 18) and is “designed to provide education in a safe setting while also offering resources and an opportunity to ask questions,” according to the library’s announcement page.

The program is being put on cooperatively by Community Mental Health Authorities from Clinton, Ingham, and Eaton counties.

A recent study from JAMA Open Network shows that “Suicide death rates among 10- to 19-year-old girls have been systematically underestimated, while rates among boys have been overestimated,” according to a HealthDay news reporter.

In other words, girls are dying by suicide more than had been realized.

The East Lansing community was rocked in 2016 when two East Lansing High School girls committed suicide within one month.

After that, the School District began discussions of trying to do a better job of addressing the mental health needs of students, something that was sparked earlier through the work of Kevin Epling, who lost his son Matt to suicide after Matt was bullied as a student at MacDonald Middle School.

The event this evening is free and open to all. The East Lansing Public Library is located at 950 Abbot Road.

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