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Suicide prevention group raising awareness

The Southeast Minnesota Chapter for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is rebuilding its services, focusing on raising awareness, research, education and advocacy for people who have experienced the death of a loved one by suicide.

Kelley Adelsman, the chapter's board chair, said helping someone gain the ability to talk about suicide can help prevent it.

"Ninety percent of people who die by suicide actually have a treatable mental disorder, said Sarah Flatness, the chapter's social media chair.

Adelsman said it's important for those impacted by a death from suicide to connect with grief resources. For example, a Rochester grief group meets the third Thursday of each month at Evangel United Methodist Church, located at 2645 N. Broadway.

The foundation has programs available for schools that focus on subjects such as language used, openness to discussing suicide and safety.


The foundation seeks ways to help individuals "mind" their physical and mental health. "It fills a unique need in our communities,"Adelsman said.

Flatness emphasizes to those who are struggling that "there are people out there who can offer help" and who can help prevent suicide.

"We want to bring it out of the darkness. We want to bring it into the light so that people know they are not alone," she said.

But she said she also wants individuals who have lost loved ones to suicide to know there is also support available to them.

The foundation has two upcoming "Out of the Darkness" walks that combine support with awareness-raising and fundraising.

The first, in Red Wing , is scheduled for 9 a.m. Sept. 13 atColvill Park.

The second, in Rochester , is scheduled for 10 a.m. Sept. 20 at East Silver Lake.

If you're in crisis, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. If you just want to talk, need some support and are not in crisis, call the Southeast Minnesota NAMI Warm Line at 888-334-7754 Thursday to Sunday 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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