College students start conversation about suicide and mental hea - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

College students start conversation about suicide and mental health

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

Students at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids are trying to start a conversation about mental health.

1,100 white flags were placed in the grass on campus today to show the approximate number of college students who die each year by suicide.

The students who placed the flags are part of a campus organization called Active Minds which works to promote mental health awareness.

"I think I just see people who were confused or thought that they were alone," says Kayla Ford, a Kirkwood Student.

The students are wanting to remind other students they are not alone.

"You know I kind of use this as a chance to kind of come to terms with myself and to help others who might be in a similar situation or for people that are struggling in general for me to just reach out to them and say you know I know what it's like to fight with this, I know what it's like to struggle on a daily basis," says Aaron Eckley, a Kirkwood student.

"Grouping them together kind of helps people realize everybody struggles everybody is struggling in some way," says Ford.

The students are wanting their peers to know mental health is okay to talk about.

Suicide is a leading cause of death among college students and students say it's preventable.

If you are having thoughts of suicide you can call the Foundation 2 Crisis Hotline at 319-362-2174 in Cedar Rapids or 1-800-332-4224 statewide.

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