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Oct. 14 event in Carlton to honor loved ones lost to suicide

Participants in a previous Suicide Awareness Memorial Walk in Carlton County hold a banner memorializing loved ones lost.
Carlton County Children and Family Services Collaborative Facebook page
Participants in a previous Suicide Awareness Memorial Walk in Carlton County hold a banner memorializing loved ones lost.

Counties in Northern Minnesota, including Carlton County, have some of the highest suicide rates in the state. The event is free, does not require registration and is open to all.

CARLTON — The 15th Annual Suicide Awareness Memorial Walk is 9:30-11:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, at the Carlton High School.

This year’s event will include a short, noncompetitive walk lasting about 20 minutes, followed by light refreshments and a short message of hope from Jake Kachinski and Brittany Steeg. The two lost their sister to suicide in 2010.

Community resources will also be highlighted including Amberwing, a center for youth and family well-being created by the Miller-Dwan Foundation and the foundation’s HopeX Collaboration.

The event is free and registration is not required. Interested people are encouraged to just show up.

“We are aware that Carlton County, and many other counties in Northern Minnesota have some of the highest rates of suicide in the state,” stated Meghann Levitt, public health educator for Carlton County Public Health and Human Services, in a news release.

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“This event allows family and friends who have been impacted by suicide to remember loved ones lost, as well as connect with others who have had a similar experience. It is also important for us to provide resources for attendees to pass along to others they know who might be struggling.”

Jo Angell is a mother who lost her son to suicide and who has been involved with the local Carlton County Suicide Prevention Task Force since its inception.

“This walk has been an important focus and connection for me,” Angell stated. “It has been very helpful to have a special day where people come together, supporting each other and walking in remembrance of our loved ones; publicly stating the seriousness of suicide. We’re all there for the same reason.”

The walk is not a fundraiser, however participants may wish to wear something with the name/picture of the person they are honoring. Participants will also be able to tie a ribbon to the banner that will be carried on the walk in memory of the person they are honoring.