Conference brings important messages to light

Anjelica Willis

The, “Survivors of Suicide” conference was held on Nov 20 at Washburn University. This is the second time that Washburn participated in the webcasted event.

The event was held nationwide, and was the 12th annual Survivors Day since 1999 when it was founded.

“American Foundation for Suicide Prevention,” a film that featured several victims of suicide was shown that depicts the grief that they are going through. The film touched on the struggles of why a person might commit suicide and what could be been done to prevent such an incident.

“Those that are coming that have experienced suicide have definitely grown,” said Marilyn Koelliker, director of university counseling services.

According to some of the experts at the event, suicide is something that some people in dire circumstances see as a more reasonable possibility.

“The culture [that surrounds suicide] can make it seem like it is an alternative or a good thing to do, especially in jails it seems suicide has become more popular, and even talking about this issue,” said a representative of Crisis Prevention.

The conference’s focus was on equipping victims who have lost someone to suicide by helping him or her to find a spiritual connection. Examples given could be through prayer, exercise or even giving back to those that have showed sympathy and regards.

The conference film also showed how a walk event in Boston the previous year had really been effective in making the victims not feel so alone.

“Previous films from last year are available at, which is a website built to support those who are dealing with the suicide issues,” said Koelliker.