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“The Mental Health Comedian” speaks at MSU-Billings on suicide prevention

Posted at 3:11 PM, Jan 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-23 17:52:45-05

BILLINGS – Frank King, known as the “Mental Health Comedian,” spoke on Tuesday at MSU-Billings for the annual Power of One week.

This event is held every year to honor the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

This year’s theme focuses on bringing awareness to the suicide rates of college students.

King has been a comedian for about 33 years and has battled depression and suicidal thoughts his whole life.

By incorporating humor, comedy and his battle with depression and suicidal thoughts, he is able to reflect and present to students nationwide.

“Depression and suicide run in my family. That’s the reason I speak on it I guess, at the heart of it. My grandmother died by suicide, my great Aunt. I came close to dying by suicide. I mean I can tell you what the barrel of my gun tastes like,” King told MTN. “That’s how I got into speaking on, I did a TED talk. I came out to the world at age 58 as depressed and suicidal nobody knew. My wife, my friends my family. Nobody had any idea that I was, that I had two mental illnesses. Once I did the TED talk, then I began the transition from a funny speaker, comedian to a speaker who is funny.”

The annual event is a week long and a variety of groups from around MSU-Billings will be taking part in the program. They will be focusing on and bringing awareness to suicide prevention, myths surrounding suicide and how to help students with: Question, Persuade and Refer training.

If you or a loved one is currently experiencing suicidal thoughts please reach out to local law enforcement or call the suicide lifeline.

Related:
Voices of Hope suicide prevention hotline makes a difference in Montana
New law could lead to three-digit number for national suicide prevention line
Suicide hotline expects increased calls following Kidder’s death

Reporting by Zoe Zandora for MTN News