Survivors of Suicide Day — (13WIBW)

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13WIBW

Linda Russell

People gathered to share support and raise awareness for the survivors of suicide today. They’re the people who have lost loved ones to suicide.

As part of National Survivors of Suicide Day, people observed the day with an event at the Pozez Education Center in Topeka.

Every 18 minutes, someone in the United States dies by suicide. “I lost my brother, John, January 16th, 2003. He was 46 years old,” says Carol Luttjohann.

Barb and Dal Dodson lost their son, Chris, two and a half years ago.  He was having a real bad time, and I did talk him into going to the doctor and went with him, and they put him on anti-depressants,” says Barb.

Despite their efforts, the Dodsons lost their son, and now they’re to learning to cope. “Got back into church and powers that be had to help, and then too, kind of learning to let go and to heal our inner self,” Barb says.

Healing and letting go are things all these survivors are trying to achieve. Today’s balloon launch was a symbol of releasing their pain.
“I did a lot of writing and researching a lot of information about suicide, and I started getting involved in groups like the one we have here,” says Carol.

These survivors are not only seeking help for themselves, but offering support for one another. “I think one of the most forgotten groups of people are the survivors. There’s a lot of work done on prevention and education, but there’s such a great need for people to understand the survivors,” says Carol.

These survivors want others to understand that the healing doesn’t happen in silence. “You can talk about them. Say their name and how they died, and know that you’re not alone,” says Barb.

A support group for suicide survivors meets the first and third Tuesday of every month at 7:00 p.m. at the Pozez Education Center at Stormont Vail. Those at today’s event say talking about their lost loved ones is helpful and they want all survivors to know that they’re not alone.