Kent students start official TWLOHA chapter

Photo by Phil Botta.

Photo by Phil Botta.

Drew Parker

From the TWLOHA website

In the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that:

  • Overall, suicide is the 11th leading cause of death for all Americans and is the third leading cause of death for young people 15-24 years.
  • Experts estimate that 4 percent of the population struggle with self-injury. It has the same occurrence between males and females, even though in popular culture it can appear to be more prevalent among girls.
  • Each year only 10 percent of Americans who need alcohol and drug treatment get the help they need.

After more than a year of trying to form a Kent State chapter of To Write Love on Her Arms, two students finally held their first meeting on Sept. 27.

TWLOHA, which began in Orlando, Fla. in 2006, strives to provide hope for people struggling with addiction, depression, self-injury and thoughts of suicide.

The two students, Jessica Corson, senior marketing major, and Kayla Landis, junior news major, met through an e-mail addressed to both girls about starting a chapter. They originally planned to start meeting last fall, but had to attend a conference in New York City to become an official chapter.

Corson, president of Kent’s TWLOHA chapter, said she hopes the Kent TWLOHA chapter can be a resource for any struggling student.

“We just want to have a community where people can be comfortable to talk about these issues,” Corson said. “I’ve always been a fan of the organization. I think this would be something the campus could utilize.”

Kayla Landis, vice president of TWLOHA, said that college students are particularly at risk for depression and other issues.

“I know they want to talk, but they hold it in, and that’s just going to make it worse,” Landis said.

The chapter will join with the organization Active Minds for the campus depression screening Friday. The group will also be participating in a suicide prevention walk in Youngstown Sunday and in Cleveland Oct. 22.

“There’s such a stigma against mental illness,” Corson said. “We’re trying to change that.”

TWLOHA meetings will be held every Tuesday at 7 p.m. in room 303 of the Student Center.

Contact Drew Parker at [email protected].