Members of 'Tigers Together' host 'Survivors of Suicide' panel - FOX Carolina 21

Members of 'Tigers Together' host 'Survivors of Suicide' panel

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Members of Tigers Together host Survivors of Suicide panel (FOX Carolina/ March 3, 2017) Members of Tigers Together host Survivors of Suicide panel (FOX Carolina/ March 3, 2017)
CLEMSON, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Investigators and crews searched by air and on the ground, eventually finding the body of Bert Henderson, an associate athletic director at Clemson University.

"It's always a surprise and it always hurts," Kristen Farrenkopf said.

A search crew found Henderson near his home. Investigators say he died by suicide. His wife recently died of cancer.

"No one can get through that on their own, but a lot of times you feel like you're alone," Farrenkopf said.

She didn't know Henderson but says she recognizes the pain.

"I thought I was alone like I didn't know that there was available help," she said.

At 17-years-old and after years of being bullied in school she attempted suicide.

"I started self-harming and then like I just couldn't - I remember one night where I was like I can't handle this anymore," she said.

That pain followed her to Clemson University. She's a student there and says she experienced an aggressive encounter with a guy.

"It completely destroyed my self-esteem and my sense of self-worth and a couple of days later I attempted again," she said.

And now with counseling and training, she's a crisis counselor and a member of Tigers Together. It's a suicide awareness and prevention organization at Clemson.

"On our campus 1,100 students seriously consider suicide every year and that's just on Clemson's campus," she said."A lot of times people who die by suicide, they're not trying to die, they're trying to find an escape from the pain."

Students with suicidal thoughts can get help through a crisis text line. Students can text TIGERS to 741-741.

"I can't even describe the feeling, knowing that because of what you've gone through you're turning a negative into a positive and helping someone else," Farrenkopf said.

She also shared her story during a Survivors of Suicide panel on campus Tuesday night. The panel was open to the public.

"I am so glad that I am alive right now," she said with a smile.

If you or someone you know are having suicidal thoughts call the National Suicide Prevention LifeLine at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You can also text the Crisis Text Line by texting "Tigers" to 741-741.

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