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Parents highlight suicide awareness through 5K race

Parents initially met at a bereavement support group offered by Hospice of Northeast Missouri. (Louis FInley/KTVO)

The Suicide Awareness 2017 5K was held on Saturday in Kirksville. The event was formed by parents of children who have lost their lives to suicide.

The parents initially met at a bereavement support group open to the community offered by Hospice of Northeast Missouri. They have been meeting since 2014.

"This is their way of giving back, and raising suicide awareness in Northeast Missouri," said Executive Director of Hospice of Northeast Missouri Carla Hustead.

"I think most of those parents would say it's an isolating experience because people don't know what to say to them," said Bereavement Coordinator Carrol Davenport.

Davenport said a lot of time people do not know how to interact with those who have lost someone due to suicide, but sometimes actions speak louder than words.

"Go up and give them a hug if you're that type of person," Davenport said.

Davenport added that saying, "I want you to know I'm thinking about you," helps as well.

Amanda Harris lost her brother Clinton Harris to suicide. Her mother helps run the event. Clinton was just 23.

"These aren't always people who are troubled all the time. They may be dealing with a difficult time, and [suicide] seems like an option," Harris said.

The wound of losing a child is always fresh.

"The people left behind, they're left with a hole and a lot of questions, and those are questions that we'll never have the answers to," Harris said.

According to dosomething.org, a social change website, one person commits suicide every 16.2 minutes.


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