National Suicide Survivors Day - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

National Suicide Survivors Day


CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) Last year Marlyse Strait lost her 23-year-old son Alex. He committed suicide.

"My son had a history of depression, but you're always shocked no matter what," said Marlyse Strait.

Dealing with any loss is hard, but Deb Peddycoart with Foundation 2 said suicide is a different kind of grief.

"Coping with what feels like the ultimate rejection. When someone chooses to die rather than continue their relationship with you as a parent, child, spouse, as a friend," said Foundation 2 Crisis Services Director Deb Peddycoart.

Marlyse Strait deals with her sadness every day.

"As a parent, you feel helpless. You're there to protect your children and you couldn't," said Strait.

On National Suicide Survivors Day, Strait and others met to support one another.

"Every 16 minutes someone dies by suicide and every 17 minutes someone is left to deal with it," said Elisabeth Kissling with Foundation 2.

A big part of coping is getting past any blame.

"It's not their fault it happened. A lot of times people try to blame themselves or feel things should have been done to prevent it, and although we do a lot of work to prevent suicide, we also want survivors to know it's not their fault," said Kissling.

Kissling said statistically, more suicides occur in the spring, but our economic future has Deb Peddycoart worried about the possibility of more people feeling the only way out is suicide.

"But I have a deep concern what will economic conditions do to vulnerable people in the next year or two. Certainly losses tend to trigger things and we're looking at potential for a lot of economic and material loss," said Peddycoart.

Marlyse Strait wants people to know help is available Whether you're thinking about hurting yourself or you're dealing with the loss of a loved one, get help because you're not alone.

A statewide crisis hotline is always available by calling 1-800-332-4224.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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