Young Males and Suicide
September 28, 2022 - 10 AM - 12 PM EST
September is suicide prevention month. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young males, who die from suicide at four times the rate of young females. As parents, how do we prepare young males for mental health challenges that they may face? Are there signs or symptoms that young males show if they are at risk of suicide? How does one hear those signs, and how does one listen to a young person at risk? How can friends be supportive of their friends who are experiencing depression or anxiety? In addition to other experts, we will hear from two fathers who lost their college age sons to suicide, their journey and what they are doing to address the issue.
Over the last four years, Michael has spoken about suicide awareness to thousands of university students throughout the United States. His message is simple – In the fight against suicide, all of us must consider ourselves as first responders, in our own lives and in the lives of those we know and love. Michael is a commercial real estate executive who resides with his wife, Gayle, in Atlanta, Georgia. Tragically, on April 21, 2012, they lost their only child, Michael “Keller” Zibilich – a second semester Sigma Chi freshman at LSU – to suicide. Devastated by this inexplicable loss, they have dedicated their time and resources to promoting suicide education and awareness to college students throughout America. With the help of family and friends, they partnered with the Sigma Chi Foundation to create the “Keller Zibilich Fund” and “The Keller Zibilich Sigma Chi Lifeline Program” – both a suicide prevention hotline and an in-depth suicide education and prevention curriculum (Strong Arms) for all 17,000 active Sigma Chi’s across the nation.
The Hilinski’s Hope Foundation (H3H) was founded by Mark and Kym Hilinski to honor the life of their son, Tyler, who died by suicide Jan 16, 2018. Tyler was an amazing son, kind brother to his siblings Kelly and Ryan, and starting QB for Washington State University - he was the most loving person you could ever meet. Hilinski's Hope mission remains scaling mental wellness programs for student-athletes, raising mental health awareness, and eradicating stigma. They have spoken at over 85 universities, colleges, and high schools around the country, sharing Tyler’s story and helping those suffering in silence get the help they need. They are the proud recipient of the 2020 ESPN Stuart Scott ENSPIRE Award, and the national charity partner of the 2021 NCAA Final Four. The ESPN E:60 fim "Hilinski's Hope" won the Sports Emmy for best Documentary short form. Mark is here to share the story of their beautiful son Tyler, with the hope that those hearing it will understand the prevalence of mental illness, and the unfortunate truth that many are affected daily by these struggles. While difficult, Hilinski's Hope is taking the lead by fighting against the stigma associated with mental illness, and promoting suicide prevention by example.