The Student News Site of University of Nebraska at Kearney

The Antelope

The Antelope

The Antelope

Raising awareness

The S Word

‘The S Word’ sheds light on suicide

By: Amelia Cooper

Residence Life, Student Health and Counseling and the Queer Straight Alliance held a movie screening of ‘The S Word’ Jan. 30 to build awareness of suicide for UNK’s campus.

“Whether you came because somebody shared it with you or because of a class credit or because you know somebody, maybe even you, who has struggled with suicidal thoughts or sadness or loneliness; we are just happy you are here,” said Kiphany Hof, the Associate Director of Counseling and the Women’s Center. 

Through funds from Residence Life and support from Student Health and Counseling and the Queer Straight Alliance, the successful screening presented a documentary to students, faculty, community members and high school students from Sydney, NE. 

“We took an interest in saying we want to talk more about this because we definitely want to break any stigma or silence around suicide, but we also want to offer a lot of hope to people,” said Hof.

This was supported by Syd Horken, president of UNK Queer Straight Alliance.

 “We would like to help bring attention and awareness to the risks and causes of suicide since there is a high prevalence of suicide and suicide ideation amongst the LGBT+,” said Horken. “Especially those who are younger and those who fall under another misunderstood minority identity.”

The lights lowered and the room stayed quiet as The S Word filed through stories of 7 suicide survivor stories and 1 family who had suffered personal loss caused by suicide. 

“It’s not time to look away anymore,” said Dese’Rae Stage, a suicide survivor covered in the documentary.

Through stories of survival, stories of loss and flashing statistics of suicide in the United States, stifled sobs were heard throughout the audience. Many walked out and back to their seat numerous times throughout the hour and a half run time. 

As the movie slowed to an end, the lights were turned back on and the audience was addressed to share one positive they had learned from the movie with a neighboring attendee. As people shared, you could hear laughter, a stark difference from the previous sobs.

Hof then presented the audience with resources from local, on campus, resources.

Renae Zimmer, Assistant Director of Leadership and Student Engagement, talked about the Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors Team she co-founded. “We actually reach out to families who do lose a love one to suicide,” said Zimmer. The LOSS Team has been around since 2014. 

Hof ended by inviting attendees to stay and discuss any concerns or feelings they had with ‘The S Word’ and anything that had to do with suicide with faculty and outreach members. Hof also directed everyone to pick up information about stress management and the S.A.F.E. Center advocate meeting times.

Bringing awareness to campuses around the country, ‘The S Word’ has now helped raise awareness to suicide on UNK’s campus and in the surrounding community.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Antelope

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Nebraska at Kearney . Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Antelope

Comments (0)

All The Antelope Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *