The 10th annual Suicide Awareness Memorial Walk on Oct. 13 at Carlton High School drew more than 280 participants, including family members and friends of those who have been lost to suicide over the years.
New this year was QPR (question, persuade and refer) training after the walk. The training provided information educating participants on how to respond to someone they suspect may be thinking about suicide.
"My wife, Jo, and I attended the QPR training for the simple reason of helping us be more informed when dealing with suicide," Robert Burn said. "I am a survivor of suicide having lost my father back in 1976. The key takeaway for us was the identification of the signs of suicide direct and indirect verbal cues."
Cassie Diver, a parent survivor, was the guest speaker at the event. She shared her struggles of coping after the loss of her son.
Also present were Amberwing, the Center for Youth and Family Well-being and Children's Grief Connection.
"I would strongly encourage those of you that have the opportunity to learn more about how to help prevent a suicide to take the QPR training," Burn said. "Especially now with everything that is taking place politically and socially that it is making it easier and easier to bully or talk down to people. Get involved, make suicide hard, thousands of lives can be saved."
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's "Minnesota 2018 Suicide Facts & Figures:" On average, one person dies by suicide every 12 hours in the state. Suicide is the eighth-leading cause of death in Minnesota and the second leading cause of death for ages 15-34 years old. Nearly six times as many people die by suicide in Minnesota annually than by homicide.