By SARA GIBONEY
KEARNEY – Jeremy and Bailey Koch will share their experience with depression and suicide during the 23rd annual Disability Awareness Week Monday through Thursday at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
Months after a near-death car accident in 2012, Jeremy left a suicide note for his wife, Bailey. He revealed that he had attempted suicide five times.
After years of healing through therapy, the couple now share Jeremy’s struggle with depression to help bring awareness to mental illness.
They will present, “Rejecting Stigma, Surviving Depression and Five Suicide Attempts,” at 7 p.m. Wednesday (Nov. 16) in the Nebraskan Student Union Ponderosa Room.
The Kochs co-own a landscaping and greenhouse business in Cozad. Jeremy graduated with a bachelor’s degree in studio art with an emphasis in landscape design from Concordia University in Seward.
Bailey earned her bachelor’s in business administration, Spanish and secondary education from Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln. She earned her master’s degree from UNK in special education, and she’s currently a doctoral candidate in the Walden University Special Education Program. Bailey also is a lecturer at UNK in the Teacher Education Department.
Other Disability Awareness Week events include presentations on veteran services, blindness, migraines, and a student panel on disabilities. The theme for this year’s events is “Grooving with Abilities.”
Disability Awareness Week is sponsored by Collegians for Integration and Accessibility, Academic Success Offices and Division of Student Affairs.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Monday, Nov 14
2:30 p.m. – Carol Lomicky, retired UNK professor and Nebraska Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing member, Student Union, Cedar Room
7 p.m. – Student Presentations, Copeland Hall Room 130
Tuesday, Nov 15
11:30 a.m. – Faculty Luncheon, “The Accommodation Plan,” Student Union, Cedar Room (email firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP to this luncheon)
2 p.m. – “One Year Later” Lori Skarka, Veteran Services, Student Union, Cedar Room
7 p.m. – Movie Night, “Forrest Gump,” Copeland Hall Room 130
Wednesday, Nov 16
2:30 p.m. – “Waking Up Blind,” Chad Bell, Student Union, Cedar Room
7 p.m. – “Rejecting the Stigma, Surviving Depression and Five Suicide Attempts,” Jeremy and Bailey Koch’s Real Life Story, Nebraska Student Union, Ponderosa Room
Thursday, Nov 17
2 p.m. – “Child-Pain Migraines and Invisible Disability,” Susan Honeyman, Student Union, Cedar Room
7 p.m. – “Hearing from the Experts” Student Panel, Copeland Hall Room 130