On October 3, 2009, Stuart Eiken, a 17 year old Boone County Missouri resident, took his life. His death shook the very foundations of the community, creating a ripple effect that impacted many. Though tragic, his death prompted the creation of the Stuart B. Eiken Foundation (aka Stu22crew). The foundation was created for two reasons: the first is to keep Stuart’s memory alive in the hearts and minds of family, friends, loved ones and all those who were touched by his death. The other is to support local programs geared towards awareness, pre-prevention and prevention efforts that focus on suicide in teens and young adults through fundraising efforts.
In September of 2010, a Town Hall meeting was hosted by representatives of Pathway’s Behavioral Health to promote the need for a suicide prevention coalition in the local area. Members of the Stuart Eiken Foundation attended the event, and have taken on the task of building the Boone County Suicide Prevention Coalition, developing the organization as the community arm of the foundation. Its purpose is to reduce stigma and create awareness through education in the local community with a special emphasis on youth intervention. The coalition is working to build strong collaborative effort with organizations in the community who are devoted to providing support for the youth of our community. Through this collaboration, the coalition is working to develop needed resources that will provide information to members of the community as a means to educate and create awareness of the issues that surround youth suicide and promote prevention and intervention efforts.