The Edmond Sun

Local News

April 15, 2013

Community walks to highlight suicide prevention

EDMOND — Stephanie Scott, the University of Central Oklahoma’s internship coordinator, had been involved with suicide prevention efforts for a number of years but quit in 2006.

“I was mad at my best friend,” she said, explaining that she’s considered a suicide survivor even though she never herself attempted it on her own. “So I can’t relate to that part. But I was present for one.”

Scott, who spoke to participants of Saturday morning’s suicide prevention walk at UCO, said she had three pieces of advice for anyone who’s lost a loved one to suicide:

No. 1 — Learn CPR. Most people are surprised by that, Scott said. Had she not been already trained in how to perform CPR, she would not have been calm enough to try to save her friend’s life, to survey the scene or to sleep at night. Even though she felt like she failed she knew she had done everything right.

“I showed up and I tried to help, and that’s my entire philosophy on life — to show up and try to help,” Scott said. “That’s all I ever want to do for anybody.”

No. 2 — Grief is messy, Scott said. It spills over into everything and it doesn’t end in six months or seven years. Saturday morning was the five-year anniversary of losing her friend.

“I can say today is the first day that I miss my friend,” she said. “It’s the first day that I’m not mad at him. And it’s the first day that I wish he were here and could see what I’m doing right now. It’s taken me five years not to be angry at him.”

Don’t put a timeline on grief and don’t expect more of yourself, Scott said. She did that for a while and wasted some time doing that.

No. 3 — Especially for children, it’s not your fault, Scott said. If someone you know killed themselves and you have stress or anxiety it’s not your fault. You’re job is to be kind, and if you’re doing that it’s not your fault, she said.

“But if you hear someone say something about wanting to take their own life take it seriously even if it makes them mad,” Scott said.

Know that it is possible to stand up and talk to people about the issue when you’ve lost your best friend to suicide, Scott said. She said when she is walking she would be doing it to support parents who have lost a child, for brothers or sisters who have lost a sibling, for those who have lost a best friend.

“We’re putting one foot in front of the other because that’s the only way to get through this and to do it together,” Scott said.

UCO’s “Out of the Darkness” walk began at Broncho Lake and proceeded through the Edmond campus. To support suicide prevention, the university partnered with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to present the walk and raise funds for the AFSP.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college and high school students, according to the foundation’s website. The AFSP performs research and provides resources to people impacted by suicide and those with mental disorders.

David Threatt, chairman of the event, said it was the second year for the UCO walk. Threatt said he would like to see participation from the UCO community increase.

“I love to see all the families out and wearing the T-shirts in honor of their loved ones,” he said. “The main message we want to get out is there is hope, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You can come out of that dark place and still be productive.”

Heather Powers, of Oklahoma City, is president of To Write Love on Her Arms (, a UCO campus organization that co-sponsored Saturday’s walk. The organization is a nonprofit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. It works to encourage, inform, inspire and invest directly into treatment and recovery.

Powers said she has had depression issues and likes the fact that the organization stresses that hope is real.

“When I lost my neighbor to suicide I knew that I wanted to walk in her honor, to be here for her parents,” Powers said.

She struggled with grief, but participating in the event means she is helping others, Powers said. The day after losing her neighbor she lost her pet horse she rides. Her horse helped pull her out of depression a few years ago.

Powers said her hopes for the walk are to get rid of the stigma attached to mental illness. When people here she has depression, they automatically begin to treat her like a second-class citizen even though she’s still the same person she was before they found out, she said.

She also wanted to tell people things do get better, there is hope.

FOR ASSISTANCE with mental health issues, call 211, HeartLine’s 24/7 information and referral line for health and human service needs. Callers can get help, hope and information from a database of more than 3,000 partner agencies and 6,000 individual services. Another resource is 1-800-273-TALK (8255), a helpline answered by HeartLine in Oklahoma. For immediate help, call 911.

Text Only
Local News
  • Boston 1 Arcadia man, 80, prepares for 111th marathon

    A year ago, Arcadia resident Tom Briggs was well into the Boston Marathon course when he heard runners nearby talking about an incident up ahead.

    April 19, 2014 3 Photos

  • Anne Josette Hill Police seek teen last seen in Edmond-north OKC area

    The family of a missing teenage girl made a plea to the public Friday to help them find the Casady honors student.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • 4-19 Calendar

    For information about Edmond senior programs, stop by and pick up a monthly calendar, check out the website at or call 216-7600. Lunch is served at 11:30 a.m. and reservations are needed a day in advance by 11 a.m. For lunch reservations, call 330-6293 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

    April 19, 2014

  • UCO plans Earth Day Fair

    The University of Central Oklahoma invites the community to celebrate sustainability with its Earth Day Fair from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 22 in locations throughout Central’s campus.
    The fair kicks off at 10 a.m. around Broncho Lake with exhibitions from local businesses, state agencies and student organizations. Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about its environmental mission and message.

    April 19, 2014

  • UCO School of Music closes semester with concert series

    The University of Central Oklahoma School of Music will wrap up its instrumental performance season with three concerts featuring Central students April 29 through May 1 at Mitchell Hall Theater located on the UCO campus.    

    April 19, 2014

  • Fine Arts 1 Auction benefits Fine Arts Institute

    The Spring Sampler dinner and auction event April 12 at Oak Tree Country Club benefitted the Fine Arts Institute of Edmond.

    April 18, 2014 4 Photos

  • Kaiser joins Thunder ownership group

    Tulsa businessman George B. Kaiser has been approved by the NBA Board of Governors as a new partner in The Professional Basketball Club LLC, which owns the Oklahoma City Thunder. Thunder Chairman and CEO Clayton I. Bennett made the announcement Friday. Kaiser is purchasing the ownership interest of Tom L. Ward.
    “We are honored to welcome George Kaiser as a member of the ownership group of the Oklahoma City Thunder,” Bennett said. “George is a well-respected and important Oklahoma business leader, as well as one of the state and nation’s top philanthropists. His commitment to successful business and community leadership is in true alignment with that of the Thunder.
    “I also appreciate the commitment and leadership provided by Tom Ward as a member of our ownership group from the beginning,” Bennett added.

    April 18, 2014

  • Literally, books come to life for club

    When some of the women at Touchmark at Coffee Creek got together to form a book club, they didn’t know it would be so much fun and become such an important part of their lives.
    The group of about a dozen residents gets together monthly to not only discuss the assigned novel, memoir or classic, but also to immerse themselves in the setting and culture of the book. There is no limit to their creativity.

    April 18, 2014

  • pink.jpg Local children win Edmond Sun Easter coloring contest

    Two local children were named winners of The Edmond Sun’s Easter coloring contest. At left, Madsion Porter, 4, daughter of Tracy Porter, won a princess Easter basket, which included a tiara, tea set, stuffed bunny rabbit and chocolate rabbit. At right, BriAnna Harbaugh, 9, daughter of Leslie Haubaugh, won a Hello Kitty Easter basket, containing art supplies, a Hello Kitty stuffed animal and a chocolate bunny.  The families also received a three-month subscription to The Edmond Sun. For your own subscription to The Edmond Sun, visit, call 341-2121, or visit 123 S. Broadway.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • jc_HarveySparks.jpg Pastor seeks congressional seat

    Working in the Congressional 1st District office of Congressman Jim Bridenstine was an eye opener for Harvey Sparks, he said. His analytical exposure to Congress has sparked his drive to run for the Congressional 5th District of Oklahoma, said Sparks, R-Oklahoma City.
    Sparks has been a pastor for the majority of his professional life. Sixteen months ago, he was asked by 1st District Congressman Jim Bridenstine to come work in his Washington, D.C., office. He and his wife, Jennifer, have three daughters and a son, ages 10-3.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday

Do you agree with a state budget proposal that takes some funds away from road and bridge projects to ramp up education funding by $29.85 million per year until schools are receiving $600 million more a year than they are now? In years in which 1 percent revenue growth does not occur in the general fund, the transfer would not take place.

     View Results