One of the hardest questions to answer after someone commits suicide is "why?". The reasons are usually a bewildering mix of circumstance, mental illness, genetics, and pain, (both physical and psychological) among others. But quite often, the reason remains unknown.

If the reasons for suicide were better understood, it might be easier to stop. Unfortunately, that is not the way it works - - yet. Here in South Dakota suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth and young adults. Overall suicide rates in our state are up over the last decade and once again, nearly 200 people died from suicide last year.

From personal experience, I can truthfully say, that if you haven't been touched by suicide in your time on this planet, consider yourself fortunate.

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The 10th Annual Step Forward to Prevent Suicide Walk is this Saturday, June 12, 2021. This year's event is going hybrid. For those who want to participate, but don't want to do it in person, it will be broadcast live on the Helpline Center's Facebook page and YouTube Channel.

If you want to be there with family, friends, and neighbors, come down to the Raven Amphitheater, 205 E. 6th Street in downtown Sioux Falls at 9 AM.

Jill Johnson, who lost her husband to suicide, is the honorary spokesperson this year. Jill's presentation will be followed by a reading of loved ones' names, and then the walk begins.

You are invited to join this event in memory of loved ones who have been affected by suicide, and everyone is encouraged to donate to help support the Helpline Center's local suicide prevention services and survivor grief support programs. 100% of all funds raised stay local. You can register online now.

For more information see the Helpline Center online, on Facebook, or call Janet Harvey at 1-605-274-1418.

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide call 211 here in South Dakota or toll-free at 1-800-273-8255, 24 hours a day.

Sources: Helpline CenterSouth Dakota Suicide PreventionWebMDBeyond Blue, and National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

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