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Cherishing memories of Chad and stopping stigma about suicide

Updated: September 24, 2020 06:13 PM

Kate Arens still grieves deeply for her brother, Chad. "It was 23 years ago, but it feels like it just happened. Losing Chad changed me, down to my DNA, I'm not the same person," she shared on this beautiful fall day.

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Since September 8th, which would have been his 50th birthday, she's been posting one picture a day of Chad on her Facebook page, and sharing memories about him. It's an effort to get people to talk about suicide without shame, embarassment, or disbelief.

"We are not better off without you." That's her message to those contemplating taking their lives. "I guarantee, someone you leave behind, like me, will never get over it," she added.

Chad suffered an aneurysm when he was just 16 months old. He later became the target of bullies. "I want people to know who are picking on someone, that you are picking on everyone who loves that person. Bullying is not OK," Arens added.

She hopes by sharing her raw pain and journey that others will reconsider taking their lives, and stop any bullying behavior. "If I can save one life, that will make my pain worth it. And when I see Chad in heaven, he will be so proud of me."

She also includes resources to help those who are struggling.

Range Mental Health Crisis Line: 218-288-2100.

National Suicide Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255.

Text HOME to 741741 to get into contact with a trained crisis counselor.

Also, don't forget there's the 12th annual Suicide Awareness Memorial Walk coming up in October. It's taking place virtually this year.

Jo Angell, a mother who lost her son to suicide, one of the walk organizers and member of the Carlton County Suicide Prevention Task Force shares, “The walk has become an annual day of remembrance for many in our communities. We want to honor the tradition that this day has become for many by offering an option to participate with their family or support system at 10:10am on 10/10/2020. We hope that even if virtually, this year, friends and family can come together for support and awareness toward prevention.”

The event is not a fundraiser and is free of charge. Participants can walk a distance of their choosing, with the recommendation of walking at 10:10am on 10/10/2020 (or sometime during the week of 10/4-10/11 as it works for you/your family).

Registration can be found on Eventbrite by searching “Suicide Awareness Memorial Walk 2020” or https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/suicide-awareness-memorial-walk-2020-tickets-119100094589.

This is where interested individuals and families can sign up and find more details/resources. The event is also on Facebook, and participants are encouraged to tag a picture of themselves/their family walking in remembrance, and use #SuicideAwareness20

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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