WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — One Wichita tattoo shop held a fundraiser on Sunday during suicide prevention month, for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. They offered walk-in tattoos and piercings, and all proceeds went to charity.
For Addictions in Ink, suicide awareness and prevention is a personal topic.
In the wake of the pandemic, the tattoo shop has lost clients to mental illness, but there’s one death in particular that hits home
In the corner of the shop is a workspace that hasn’t been touched in months. It likely won’t be used again.
“Just utter loss,” said tattoo artist Morguen McCoin. “I can’t even describe it. Just the whole floor dropped out from under me.”
It was April when McCoin got a call she wouldn’t forget. Fellow tattoo artist and friend Shanna Savage had died by suicide.
“She was literally the warmest, most inviting person that I ever met,” McCoin said. “Just, like, wanted to be close physically, emotionally and just wanted to be a part of whatever was going on.”
McCoin isn’t the only person still impacted by Savage’s passing.
“It broke a lot of us in the shop for a little while,” said Bryan Parsons, owner of Addictions in Ink. “There’s a few of us that are still having trouble getting over it.”
Even now, months later, no one has the heart to move Savage’s things. They stay in the shop, untouched.
“We have a hard time parting from it,” Parsons said.
The day’s event isn’t just meant to raise money for suicide prevention and awareness.
It also opens up a conversation for a community still recovering from loss.
“When people are open and share with each other, they can realize they’re not alone,” said Austin Bergen, who accompanied his brother at the event.
A comic book cover with Shanna the She-Devil — a character who shares Savage’s name — hangs, framed, behind the front desk. It serves as a reminder.
“Just reach out,” said McCoin. “You’re not gonna be a burden. You’re not gonna bother anybody. I promise you anybody that cares about you will want to know those things.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, call 988 to find resources nearby.
Additional resources include:
- COMCARE 24-hour Community Crisis Line: 316-660-7500
- Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas: 316-685-1821
- United Way of the Plains: 211
- Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration: 1-800-662-help (4357)
- Psychology Today: Find therapists in your area, see who takes your insurance, and learn more information about mental health
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Chat online or call 988