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Each step forward is hope

Thank you and Miigwetch to everyone who participated in the recent events highlighting National Suicide Prevention Week.

Mayor Rita Albrecht proclaimed Sept. 8-14 as Suicide Prevention Week in Bemidji. In recognition of the week, Bemidji State University Student Center for Health & Counseling, the Beltrami Area Suicide Prevention Program and a number or other Bemidji State University partners hosted a number of events on campus.

The week culminated on Sept 14 with more than 350 people gathering to " take a step forward toward hope" as participants, suicide loss survivors, friends, supporters and volunteers for the seventh annual Run/Walk/Skate for Suicide Prevention. We thank all the participants, volunteers and agencies/businesses that served as sponsors and donors.

Each year brings an increased feeling of encouragement and hope as so many individuals, businesses and agencies from Bemidji and beyond come together raising awareness for suicide prevention. Proceeds from the event support activities of the Beltrami Area Suicide Prevention Program. Activities include education and awareness programming to every high school in Beltrami County, local colleges and universities and community organizations. The program also provides assistance to suicide loss survivors through information referral and a support group. It is difficult to find the appropriate words to express our gratitude for the generosity of numerous individuals, groups, agencies and businesses that contributed to healing event for so many in our community. Thank you for your efforts to raise public awareness about suicide and encourage individuals to ask for help.

Stephanie Downey

Suicide Prevention Coordinator, Beltrami Area Suicide Prevention Program