Twenty people lost their lives to suicide in La Crosse
County last year.
Today more than 200 people gathered at the La Crosse
Area Suicide Prevention summit to talk about ways
to keep the number of suicides from growing.
News 8's Sarah Thamer was at the Summit and joins
us now with details..Sarah?
Today's summit started conversations about many different
topics related to suicide.
Depression, warning signs and responding to risks
were just a few of those topics.
But hope and resillience.
were the main focus of today's summit.
One of the reasons why I got into the field of suicide
prevention is because I actually see it as an opportunity
It may not be the first thing that comes to mind when
talking about suicide, but prevention specialists
say it's key, to encourage more people, to get help.
I hear more stories of people struggling and overcoming
than I do of the tragedies.
But that doesnt mean suicide rates don't continue
Our state has high suicide rates.
And suicide awareness officials say there's a reason,
why more and more people, are losing their lives to
We really don't talk about it, the stigma keeps people
from don't ask, don't tell type of thing and the more
we can bring it to a
more hey let's start this conversation,
the more we can start to see the reduction of suicide.
But today's summit, aimed
to start an important conversation:
We're really starting to spread the message and more
and more people are becoming aware of what to do to
help prevent suicide, part of it is spreading awareness
and not just awareness of signs and symptoms to look
for but also awareness of the resources that are available.
And one way to encourage hope, is through the HOPELINE:
You can text in at any time of the day, night for
any kind of reason it could be simply I need somebody
to let this all out, I'm going through a breakup,
I'm just struggling and I want somebody to validate
me or you know what, I'm looking for resources in
my community and where do I go? where do I turn?
Five people have lost their life to suicide in La
Crosse County just this year alone.
In 2014, there were 23 suicides through the first
week of October in La Crosse.
If you or anyone you know struggles with depression
and mental illness...a support group meets every monday
from to p-m at Franciscan Spirituality Center in
You may also call the Great Rivers crisis line at