Residents take a stand against suicide by spreading love and happiness

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Mental Health Awareness month takes place in May but Team of Mercy and 3 Sisters Investments wanted to get an early start to their awareness.

Team of Mercy works to bring awareness to the community and help break the stigma of suicide and mental health. Saturday over 50 people gathered to let those who may be struggling know they are not alone.

“We believe at Team of Mercy that if we start and have an open conversations this will be normal,” said Team of Mercy executive director Christina Crist. “The more we’re out in the public spreading kindness, joy and love, along with the national suicide hotline, we are in hopes that, that will encourage people.”

Karen Allen, treasurer for the Team of Mercy board of directors, says after dealing with suicide in her family, she dove right in with the organization in hopes of bettering her community and the people in it.

“My husband and I lost our 23-year-old nephew to suicide and that was in April of 2014,” said Allen. “At that point in time I had never had anyone in my family pass that had passed that way, so it was very difficult for us.”

In 2013, Crist lost her 15-year-old daughter to suicide and ever since then, she has been working to make sure no other parent has to endure the pain of losing their child in this manner.

“Suicide does not discriminate so it happens all over the world every day,” said Crist. “People take their lives every single day for all kinds of different reasons so as a community we are responsible for our own individuals in it.”

Anyone struggling with mental health or debating suicide can call (800) 273-8255 for support.

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