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 undiscovered.

If the reasons for suicide were better understood, it might be easier to stop. Unfortunately, this 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 nearly 48% in the last decade and once again, nearly 200 people died from suicide last year.

The Step Forward to Prevent Suicide Walk, like so many other important occasions this year, has become a virtual event. The 9th Annual Step Forward to Prevent Suicide is coming up this Sunday, (June 14). It will be a Facebook Live and YouTube Live event which will begin at 9:00 AM.

Sam Breske, who lost his brother to suicide, is the honorary spokesperson this year. Sam's presentation will be followed by a reading of loved ones' names, and the program will end with a balloon release.

You are invited to join this virtual event in memory of loved ones who have been touched by suicide, and everyone is encouraged to donate to help support the Helpline Center's local suicide prevention services and survivor grief support programs. 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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