TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – September is National Suicide Awareness month and Team of Mercy has been working to bring more awareness about the issue. Members want break the stigma that surrounds mental health, and teach others how to reach out for help.
Residents of the Wabash Valley gathered together Tuesday night to remember those who have died by suicide and to bring awareness. Team of Mercy hosted the event, it’s a non profit organization that is dedicated to walking beside survivors as they learn to heal and return to their lives.
Executive Director Christina Crist said after loosing her daughter to suicide everything changed.
“Suicide absolutely changed every aspect of me and in my life, the way I view life, the way I view people, the way I view myself. It changed me as a mother. It changed me as A coworker, a worker, a community leader,” Crist said.
Shaylee Runyan and Samantha Conklin held a candle in honor of their mother and friend who died by suicide in 2021.
They said suicide is a topic that doesn’t receive a lot of attention.
“Now it effects our everyday life. Where as it was before it was unseen and unheard,” Conklin said. “Not something you really thought about until it happens to you. I don’t think you think about it,” Runyan added.
Runyan and Conklin said Team of Mercy has had a big impact on their lives and their healing process.
They said Team of Mercy and the help it provides is just a phone call away.
“I don’t think we would of gotten through without it,” Conklin said. “It helps knowing that there are people who feel the same as you and know that they’re by your side no matter what,” Runyan added.
Team of Mercy works toward its goal by offering assistance to individuals who are suffering with their mental health or have lost a loved one to suicide.
Crist said it’s time to speak out about suicide awareness.
“Normalize conversation. Normalize the conversation about yourself about not being okay. We’re not suppose to be okay all the time. It’s time to advocate for ourselves,” Crist said.
For more information on Team of Mercy or resources on how to get help. You can reach out to the organization by visiting its website at teamofmercy.org.