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At least 200 people gather in Escanaba for annual End the Silence Walk

Multiple organizations on hand to pass out information on suicide prevention awareness
Event part of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
Event part of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month(WLUC)
Published: Sep. 11, 2021 at 6:10 PM EDT
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ESCANABA, Mich. (WLUC) - On Saturday, over 200 people gathered in Escanaba’s Ludington Park for the 13th annual End the Silence Walk.

Organizer Nicole Potokar lost her brother to suicide in 2008. She says it is important to have everyone together.

“The key message that we’re trying to convey is that ‘you’re not alone,’ said Potokar. “Being able to have everyone here today helps solidify that message we’re trying to promote. ‘You’re not alone. We’re all in this together.’”

Event speaker Sara Deno says her goal is to let attendees know they are not alone.

“I myself attempted suicide at one point,” Deno stated. “I also have a sister who committed suicide about five years ago. It’s very devastating when you lose a loved one to suicide.”

Pathways, Celebrate Recovery, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs were among the resources that passed out information on the issue. Deno wants people to understand that it is vital to support those who are struggling.

“You don’t have to be sorry when something bad happens,” she said. “Sometimes, just giving a hug or just being there means more than anything you can say or do.”

Even talking about what someone is going through can make a difference.

“Whether you feel more comfortable with your doctor or you feel more comfortable with your pastor,” Potokar explained, “just saying the word simply sometimes can really start a right direction of getting help.”

Potokar also says communities should not hesitate to reach out to those having a difficult time.

If you or anyone you know needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.

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