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Updated Dec 26, 2011 - 9:40 am

Suicide of ASU student raises questions

Daniel Kemp (Photo: Facebook)

PHOENIX - Last Wednesday, Daniel Kemp threw himself from the top floor of a downtown Phoenix parking structure. His suicide has left all of his friends at Arizona State, and especially his family, stunned.

"He was one of the smartest guys I ever met," said Isaac Easley, a close friend of his at ASU. "He was just a great person, someone who I really cared for. And someone I am going to miss."

Questions are still circulation about Daniel's reasons for taking his own life. Friends have been leaving messages on his Facebook page, remembering their friend.

This time of the year is very trying, particularly for students. Nikki Kontz of the Arizona Suicide Prevention Coalition believes students can have it rough because of transitioning between school semesters takes an emotional toll, especially if things aren't going as hoped for. However, during this time of the year, the number of suicides actually drops, and at the same time, some of those risk factors for suicide increase.

"What is high is people's rates of depression, and rates of despair," said Kontz.

Kontz attributes the lowered suicide rate to better social interactions around the holidays with friends and family. Even in times that are very rough, those interactions can help prevent suicide.

"Those things are things that give us a sense of well-being," said Kontz. "They help us feel connected to our community, feel supported, and feel cared about."

And that's what makes the death of Daniel Kemp even more shocking to those who knew him. He was loved and cared about by many.

"I just wish he would have told somebody that he was going through some things," said Easley. "I wish he just would have came to me or anybody, and just expressed how he was feeling.

A memorial service is being prepared for Daniel Kemp for December 29.


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