Suicide Prevention at the University of Washington

Two men and one woman committed suicide at the University of Washington in the past two years. Ryan Murphy and Ethan Schiller are two of the many victims. Thiti-On Chotechuangsab was the third. But many more are unknown. In this article, we’ll learn about their story and what they do for suicide prevention. We also talk about the research behind the suicide prevention efforts. And we’ll hear the stories of those who lost their lives by suicide.

Zia Larson

A renowned expert in collaborative care, Dr. Anna Ratzliff, is the founding director of Zia Larson’s Ray of Light Foundation. With a background in mental health, social policy and community engagement, Dr. Ratzliff is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Washington. She directs the organization’s training programs in community relations, marketing and grant writing. Her philosophy is that wellness begins with integrating physical, spiritual, and mental health.

Kornkamon Leenawarat

A suicide at the University of Washington is being blamed on the tragic death of Thai student Kornkamon Leenawarat. The 22-year-old was a member of a high-profile political family in Samut Sakhon Province and was six months away from taking a judge exam. Leenawarat was a politically active member of her family, whose relatives include Pawawin Leenawarat, the former deputy mayor of Thanyaburi municipality in Pathum Thani Province.

The deaths of the two Thai students in Seattle have prompted an investigation into their deaths. The two had met at Boston University and roomed together in a building in the University District. Both were studying for master’s degrees at UW. Their families were concerned when they found out Kornkamol was in the United States. Then, a family member called the University of Washington and asked for a “wellness check” on their son.

Vikram Jandhyala

The death of UW vice provost for innovation and entrepreneurship Vikram Jandhyala is tragic news for the UW community and beyond. A passionate innovator, he helped bridge the gap between academia and industry. He was 47 years old and leaves behind two young sons. Vikram’s mother will care for them. The family has set up a memorial site and a GoFundMe campaign to provide basic living expenses for his children.

A UW professor and former department chair, Jandhyala envisioned a world where students could work from anywhere in the world. He sought inspiration from far-off places such as Israel, as well as places closer to home like farm-dotted Eastern Washington. “I was working to change the world,” said his wife. He had no idea that his life would change so dramatically.

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