About 20 people attended a "Community Conversation on Suicide" at the State College Municipal Building sponsored by March for Our Lives and CeaseFire PA.
Panel members included activists from both organizations and Tom King, the former State College police chief.
Alex Wind, one of the co-founders of the March for our Lives movement, described the effects that gun violence and mass shootings have on current suicide rates.
“If we can stop the senseless shootings that are happening in the streets all across the country, then we can also have a huge impact on the decrease of suicides that we see,” Wind said.
According to Everytown, a gun safety organization, 61 firearm suicides occur daily. Pennsylvania accounts for two of those deaths.
Abbie La Porta, the chapter lead of March for our Lives State College, explained the importance of the discussion in terms of suicide prevention.
“But it’s something that needs to be done to help the people that are struggling to come out and talk about what problems they’re having,” La Porta said.
The members of the panel said they hope the discussion surrounding suicide and gun violence prevention continues after National Suicide Prevention Month ends.