One year later: A sister’s project of pictures about suicide

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Posting a picture every day on Facebook can be a daunting task. Especially when you’re using the #SuicideAwareness.

Kate Arens is nearly done with her picture project. Each photo includes her beloved older brother, Chad. September 7th will be a full year.

"My heart is looking forward to it being over, because it’s been really hard," she told us.

The Nashwauk woman has been without him now for nearly 24 years. "Losing Chad was one of the worst things to happen to me. Sometimes I look at the pictures and it’s hard to believe he was ever here," she said.

And now, nearly 365 pictures have been posted about him and his loss. "Everyone has their dark moments, especially during COVID. But your family is NOT better off without you," she wrote in one.

Another said, "There’s no such thing as a perfect family." She is encouraging people to reach out for help.

Arens always includes helplines in her posts. She said some people have reached out and told her they’ve used them.

She’s grateful for Chad’s help along the way. And how she’s finally been able to address some of the painful memories, and start healing. "I know I’m not the same person, I’m really finally being able to deal with my grief," she added.

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

If you or someone you know might be at risk of suicide, here are ways to help:

First Call for Help of Itasca County: Call 211

In Northeastern Minnesota & Iron Range, call 218-288-2100 for RMHC’s 24-hour Crisis Life and Mobile Crisis Team. The team serves adults and children 24/7/365 by providing on-site assessments for persons experiencing a mental health crisis.

Call 1-800-273-8255 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. It provides free and confidential support 24 hours a day, seven days a week for people in suicidal crisis or distress.

For the TrevorLifeline, a suicide prevention counseling service for the LGBTQ community, call 1-866-488-7386.

Text HOME to 741741 to have a confidential text conversation with a trained crisis counselor from Crisis Text Line. Counselors are available 24/7. The Veterans Crisis line is 800-273-8255 press 1.