suicide prevention | KCUR

suicide prevention

Segment 1: A hopeful billboard has a story behind it.

When artist Nicole Leth lost her father to suicide, she told herself she would focus all her energy on spreading positivity. Now a billboard in Kansas City stands testament to that promise.

  • Nicole Leth, artist

Segment 2: A Kansas City musician rocks the violin in her new EP.

Preventing Teen Suicide

Mar 29, 2019

Suicide rates among teenagers are higher than the national average in both Kansas and Missouri, according to the Center for Disease Control. This issue was named a "public health crisis" by Dr. Kimberly O'Brien, and while the statistics are only part of the story, the problem seems to be getting worse. 

Brian Ellison hosts a panelled discussion with experts from around the country to address this. KCUR in partnership with American Public Square brings you Lifelines: Preventing Teen Suicide. 

Raytown Rocks

Karen Houck referred to her grief as a "bag of rocks" for years before she ever painted one or lived in a Lee's Summit house landscaped with a hundred tons of them.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

In 2017 in Missouri,  75 children and teenagers killed themselves — the most on record, according to an analysis of the most recent available data for the state.

That same year in Kansas, 99 young people took their own lives. Another record.

Simplistic crisis plans and missing mandatory training by some Kansas schools led the Kansas Board of Education on Tuesday to reinforce its suicide prevention requirements.

Suicide rates in the United States have been going up for years, but the rates have risen faster in Kansas. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Kansas suicide rate increased by 45 percent from 1999 to 2016.

Greg Echlin / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City pair skater John Coughlin was found dead Friday afternoon in a residence on the 10900 block of Washington Street, according to USA Today, which cited a Facebook post by his sister.

“My wonderful, strong, amazingly compassionate brother John Coughlin took his own life earlier today,” Angela Laune wrote on Facebook. “I have no words.”

Coughlin, 33, won the 2012 United States Figure Skating Championships with partner Caydee Denney and the 2011 championships with partner Caitlin Yankowskas.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

Bella Price was blindsided when a good friend at Spring Hill High School took his own life. 

She had every reason to believe Josh Hoston, a great student and athlete, was looking forward to freshman year as much as she was. 

She was equally shocked when another classmate killed himself the following summer.