Quent was the last guy you would have thought would commit suicide. It seems like such a cliché to say, but in his case it’s the truth. He was an incredible athlete (two time state wrestling champion), a chemical engineer with outstanding grades, our fraternity president, a volunteer in the community, had a wonderful and supportive family, and was well-liked by everyone around him. Given this impressive resume, you can only imagine the shock that myself and the other brothers of Theta Chi felt waking up to the news of his suicide in June 2015.
For all of us, there were few to no warning signs. We have struggled, and still struggle with many questions that arose after Quent’s death. How can we overcome the feeling of helplessness that is left after a tragedy like this? How can we support each other as we struggle to cope with this loss? Most importantly - how can we help prevent something like this from happening again?
We knew that sitting around and feeling sorry for ourselves would not help us move forward, and it certainly would not help prevent it from happening to someone else. That is why Theta Chi has committed to partner with mental health organizations like On Our Own, If You’re Reading This, and NAMI. Over the past 3 years we have helped raise thousands of dollars for these organizations that are doing so much to promote mental health, especially in young adults.
So, what can you do? First, tell people that you love them and tell them how much they mean to you, even if you’re not sure if they ‘need’ to hear it. You never know how much it can mean to someone. Secondly, if you have previously or are currently struggling with your own mental health, share your story. Be a leader in showing people that it’s ok to discuss one’s mental health. Finally, support organizations like If You’re Reading This, On Our Own, and NAMI.
This Thursday they will be partnering up with Theta Chi for the annual Battle of the Bands, and we would love to see you out at the event, where all proceeds are donated to one or more of these groups. If you can not make it to one of our events, please consider donating either your time or money to these worthy organizations. If you’re reading this, you can help prevent suicide.
Billy B., University of Virginia ‘17
The Xi Chapter of Theta Chi at UVA is hosting its annual Battle of the Bands philanthropy at Boylan Heights Thursday November 8th, 2018 at 8:30 PM. Local bands will compete while the chapter raises funds for the local organization On Our Own. On Our Own is a peer-run recovery center in Charlottesville that strives to provide support, advocacy, and education services for individuals who struggle with mental illness.
In addition, Theta Chi is raising money for UVA's local chapter of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) and IfYoureReadingThis.org.
You can support Theta Chi’s efforts and help raise funds for these organizations by attending Thursday’s event or by donating via Venmo (to account Danny-Bader) or check (addressed to Theta Chi Xi Chapter).