Cooper to present ‘Kristin’s Story’ at USD

The heartbreaking portrayal of a daughter's death from suicide will be shared with students at The University of South Dakota during the program "Kristin's Story" at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 9. Presented by Nikki's Fund, "Kristin's Story" as told by her mother, Andrea Cooper, is open to the public and will be held at the Muenster University Center Ballroom on the USD campus.

This event, which details Cooper's moving account of her 20 year-old daughter Kristin's struggle with depression following an acquaintance rape as a college student, is part of Suicide Prevention Awareness Activities at USD. Cooper began sharing Kristin's story in 1998 with campus communities across the United States.

"By sharing her daughter's story with campuses across the country, Andrea Cooper is hoping that students suffering from depression, for any reason, will seek help," said Janine Harris, manager of the Al Neuharth Media Center at USD, whose daughter Nicole Vallie Harris committed suicide on June 15, 2005. "With suicide claiming the lives of 30,000 people each year, it's important that we reach out to programs that support suicide prevention and other mental health needs for students."

In addition to the Sept. 9 evening program, Cooper will also share "Kristin's Story" with faculty and staff members during a noon forum at the Al Neuharth Media Center on Sept. 9.

National Suicide Prevention Week is Sept. 5-11 and culminates with the fourth annual Nikki's Fund 5K Run/Walk at Prentis Park on Saturday, Sept. 11 in Vermillion. Nikki's Fund was established in memory of Nicole Vallie Harris and all proceeds from the 5K Run/Walk will be donated to Nikki's Fund. Nikki's Fund donations support suicide prevention programs and other mental health needs for USD students.

For more information about Kristin's Story, please visit www.kristinsstory.com. Additional information about the Student Counseling Center is also available on the Web at www.usd.edu/scc. To register for Nikki's Fund 5K, go to www.allsportcentral.com/EventInfo.cfmEventID=24191.

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