Suicide prevention week butterfly release honors lives lost

The Mizzou Student Suicide Prevention Coalition is hosting the third annual MSSPC Week April 10-14. Throughout the week, the MSSPC Steering Committee will sponsor events around campus to raise awareness of suicide prevention and highlight campus resources available to students and faculty.

MSSPC was founded in September 2014 by University of Missouri students to help faculty and students understand and help prevent suicide. The first MSSPC week was held in 2015. In addition to increasing awareness MSSPC works to raise funds to help connect MU students to resources for suicide prevention. The organization also serves as an outlet for individuals to cope with stress and focus on their mental health and happiness. MSSPC serves as a voice for individuals, families, and friends who have been impacted by suicide.

“Each year 1,100 college students lose their lives to suicide, and MSSPC thinks that number is too many,” said Neeti Butala, MSSPC Steering Committee member. “I enjoy being a part of MSSPC because we work to lower that number by helping connect those in need with resources that can help.”

During MSSPC week this year, a butterfly release will be held to honor the lives of the 1,100 college students who die each year by suicide. The event is scheduled for Thursday, April 13 from 5 – 6 p.m. on Francis Quadrangle.

The butterfly release is open to everyone and will bring together students and members of the community whose lives have been affected by suicide.  Butterflies will be available to purchase for $5 at the event.

“The butterfly release was one of my favorite events MSSPC held last year,” said Sam Hoffman, MSSPC Steering Committee member. “It was so impactful to visually see the number of college student suicides represented. We are really excited to hold this event again this year as well as add a new event.”

The coalition will also host Sunset Yoga for the first time this year during the MSSPC week Wednesday, April 12 from 7- 8p.m. on Tradition Plaza. Admission is free.

“Sunset Yoga is an event I’m very excited for,” Butala said. “It’s a judgment free zone so all anyone needs to enjoy it is a yoga mat and a smile.”

For more information on MSSPC Week 2017 and to find out how to participate in more events, follow MSSPC on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Olivia Hoelting

About the Author Olivia Hoelting

From a young age I can remember sitting with my dad at our family’s kitchen table looking over various agriculture magazines and newspapers. At the time, I was too young to understand most of the stories, but my dad would spend hours reading aloud to me. When I learned to read the stories myself, my dad helped me sound out some of the difficult terms myself. Little did I know, those small moments would be the first glance into my future career that I am now working towards. I am currently a junior studying science and agricultural journalism at the University of Missouri, Columbia. I have an emphasis in agricultural marketing. I am also working towards a double minor in agricultural economics and political science.