Remarkable Women: Marian McCord

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. — In 2004, Marian and her husband Larry sadly, lost their son Chad to suicide. They vowed to turn their tragedy into something positive and formed CHADS Coalition.

Today, their programs present to over 59,000 students every year, 12-13 percent self identify and express the need for help for themselves or someone else. CHADS has outreach programs in over 40 schools, and offer three core programs to help save lives. Marian was nominated by someone who received services through CHADS following a suicide in their family and says, “Marian works tirelessly to turn what happened to her son into something positive for others.”

Chad McCord was not your ordinary teenager. He was an Eagle Scout. He was in the top 15 percent of his class at Oakville High School and had almost 20 college credits. He was a church youth group retreat leader and an outstanding athlete. During his 3-1/2 years of high school, he earned 5 “most something” plaque awards for cross-country, soccer, and track. He was being recruited by a Division 1 school to play college soccer. He was nominated for and attended a week-long leadership program in Washington, DC. As a volunteer, he spent many hours as a coach and worker for the Kirkwood Track Club. He was the assistant coach for his church CYC track team for four years.

Chad McCord was 18-years-old when he lost his battle with depression and took his life on April 15, 2004. Unfortunately, Chad left this world before fulfilling his dream to increase awareness and acceptance of mental illness. Chad’s parents, Larry and Marian McCord, vowed to be Chad's voice. In 2005, they founded CHADS Coalition for Mental Health in memory of their son, Chad. CHADS' goal is to save teen lives.

CHADS Coalition offers three programs. Signs of Suicide, Family Support, and Social-Emotional Well-being. Programs are funded by St. Louis County Children’s Service Fund for children and families within St Louis County. Some funding is available to cover programs outside of St. Louis County.

Signs of Suicide® (SOS) - SOS® is an evidence-based suicide prevention program, with presentations for students in grades 6-12, faculty, and parents.

Family Support - The Family Support Program provides targeted, short-term counseling support to children and adolescents who are struggling with symptoms of anxiety, depression, or suicidal ideation.

Social-Emotional Well-being (SEW) - CHADS’ SEW Program is composed of complementary, evidence-based programs that promote social and emotional learning resiliency and bullying prevention.

To learn more and to support this cause, click here


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