The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

SE club to bring suicide awareness through walk

Photo+courtesy+Chuck+and+Sarah+Hope++Chuck+Hope%2C+SE+history+professor%2C+and+Sarah+Hope%2C+English+instructor%2C+hold+a+portrait+of+his+daughter+Chappell+Hope%2C+who+took+her+own+life+in+2010.
Photo courtesy Chuck and Sarah Hope Chuck Hope, SE history professor, and Sarah Hope, English instructor, hold a portrait of his daughter Chappell Hope, who took her own life in 2010.

By Mathew Shaw/se new editor

Photo courtesy Chuck and Sarah Hope  Chuck Hope, SE history professor, and Sarah Hope, English instructor, hold a portrait of his daughter Chappell Hope, who took her own life in 2010.
Photo courtesy Chuck and Sarah Hope Chuck Hope, SE history professor, and Sarah Hope, English instructor, hold a portrait of his daughter Chappell Hope, who took her own life in 2010.

Chuck and Sarah Hope were once a part of a trio on SE Campus. That was until Chuck Hope’s eldest daughter, Chappell Hope, took her own life in 2010.

Now, the Hopes will walk with more than 100 people in Chappell’s memory as part of the Out of the Darkness campus walk April 19. As the name implies, the goal is to bring the issue of suicide out of the darkness and into the public’s consciousness.

The SE Gay-Straight Alliance, in partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, will host the walk.

Chappell Hope worked as a lab assistant on SE Campus. On her Facebook page, she listed her job as “lab rat.”

“That last year of her life, all three of us worked on campus together,” said Sarah Hope, Chappell’s sister and SE English instructor. “When people saw us walking together, they would comment, ‘Oh, no! Here come the Hope sisters,’ and they would joke about us making trouble.”

Sarah said Chappell was a lover of animals and had a pet tarantula she would walk around campus with while it was placed on her shoulder like a brooch.

However, Chappell suffered from a number of mental health issues. She suffered from eating disorders and borderline personality disorder. She was also molested as a child.

“Even though she was beautiful on the outside, she was very hurt and broken on the inside,” Sarah said.

The Hopes do not like the term “commit suicide.”

“We always try to say ‘died by suicide’ because they weren’t in the right mind frame to make a commitment like that,” Sarah said. “[Chappell] couldn’t even commit to a hair curler, let alone take her own life.”

Holding the walk on campus was SE student Jessica Caudle’s idea. Caudle lost her father to suicide in 1990 and lost several other friends over the years as well. The topic of suicide was a personal thing for her until she wore her “Out of the Darkness” shirt to school and had several people ask her about it and tell her about their own losses.

“Last semester, there were three of us in one microbiology class that had lost loved ones to suicide,” she said.

Caudle believes suicide is a taboo topic. She once had a co-worker who never showed suicidal tendencies until she went home after work one day and shot herself.

“Never in a million years did I think she would do something like that,” she said. “I want people to know that it’s OK to talk about it and that they’re not alone.”

SE counselor Carisa Givens said she is aware of the stigma associated with suicide. This stigma bothered her after her father’s suicide last June.

“I did find myself falling into the category of shame, of denial, guilt even, about my father’s suicide because I sometimes feel like I should have done something to prevent it,” she said.

As a counselor, Givens on numerous occasions had to call a mobile crisis unit through Mental Health Mental Retardation of Tarrant County and through Millwood Hospital for at-risk students.

“I would say since I came to TCC SE in 2011, I’ve probably worked with six to eight per semester who specifically report suicidal thought and behavior,” she said.

Gay-Straight Alliance member Meagan Solomon will participate in the walk.

“I haven’t personally lost anyone to suicide,” she said. “But I know there are very high rates in our [LGBT] community.”

However, Solomon said suicide is something that affects everybody.

“Like our name states, we are a gay-straight alliance,” she said. “And since suicide affects people regardless of sexual orientation, it’s a prime example of what we want to accomplish as a club, which is offering help and support for people regardless of where they come from or their sexual orientation or sexual identity.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 38,364 suicides were reported in 2010, making it the 10th-leading cause of death for Americans.

The walk will take place at 10 a.m. April 19 on the track behind SE Campus. Those wishing to participate must register online at www.outofthedarkness.org, click on “Campus Walks” and then “Find an Event Near You.” Participants may donate on the website and create teams for the walk. As of April 4, the walk had raised more than $3,000 from donations.

Solomon, who is part of the Know Hope SE GSA team, said the amount of money raised has been a pleasant surprise.

“As a team, we wanted to raise $500,” she said. “We completely exceeded that within a few days.”

Givens will walk with a team of 20 called Honey Blue after a book of poetry her father had published in 2010.

“Participating in the suicide walk, it’s very eye-opening to see so many people that have been affected by suicide,” she said. “[It] provides a sense of normalcy within the recovery process because it is. It’s a process, it’s a journey.”

Chuck and Sarah Hope will march in team Chappell’s Hope. On the team shirt is an impression of a butterfly tattoo that Chappell had on her shoulder. Chappell’s favorite quote was, “Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.”

“Every time we see a butterfly, we say ‘Hi, Chappell,’ and know she’s still with us,” Sarah said.

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian