VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – It’s startling, suicide being the 2nd leading cause of death in Indiana. Here in the valley a local group is working hard to not only lower the numbers but also help those left behind.
To go through a list of everything Team of Mercy does is impossible because each families’ needs are tailor made to them. But what is universal about what they do is the hope they bring to survivors.
When a person decides to take their own life those still here are left to grieve but one organization makes sure the loved ones don’t have to go through the loss on their own.
“Within hours to have professionals on scene to assist this family is…. there really aren’t any words for that,” Team of Mercy executive director Christina Crist said.
Team of Mercy is a non-profit agency that aims to increase suicide awareness, prevention and education.
The group aids the emotional trauma by offering support groups, financial assistance for funerals and cemetery costs, as well as counseling services and bio-hazard clean up.
“A lot of individuals don’t think about this because you’re in shock, you have that level of trauma and adrenaline kicks in and you need to get this done, we need to clean this up. But studies show that individuals that are left to clean up a loved one’s scene are at risk of over 300 percent to repeat suicide at some point in their life,” Crist said.
Between vigils and it’s Color Run, Team of Mercy goal is to make sure residents know they have a place to go.
But what Team of Mercy’s executive director Christina Crist is most proud of are the relationships built.
“When a new survivor comes in completely broken and you see them two years later helping out that new survivor that came in that’s the magic of Team of Mercy at its finest because they have turned their ashes into beauty by helping someone else,” Crist said.
This September Team of Mercy will hold its annual candle light vigil as well as a new event.
The group will be teaming up with Jeep Junkies to host a ride on the 7th and are also working to grow into more Wabash Valley communities.
If you or someone you know needs helps would like to volunteer or donate click here.