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Published September 16, 2013, 08:56 AM

Taking steps in Grand Forks to prevent suicide

More than one hundred people packed Lincoln Park in Grand Forks this afternoon to provide awareness and healing at an annual walk for suicide prevention sponsored by TEARS (Together we Education About the Realities of Suicide)

More than one hundred people packed Lincoln Park in Grand Forks this afternoon to provide awareness and healing at an annual walk for suicide prevention sponsored by TEARS (Together we Education About the Realities of Suicide)

More than 100 walkers are taking steps to prevent stories like these:

Sandy Kovar- Suicide Prevention Walk Organizer: “I lost my son Michael in August of 2003 to suicide he was 18 years old.”

Kim Thorp- Walker: “We're here honoring my son Austin Thorp who we lost in October of last year.”

The people are different...

Kovar: “He was getting ready for college. I called him one day and he never answered the phone again.”

Thorp: “And he was a ladies man. I had so many people come up to me after the funeral saying I dated your son.”

But the pain left behind is similar.

Kovar: “I felt alone, by myself and alienated. With the stigma of suicide I was afraid that I was being judged.”

Thorp: “When it does it's a roller coaster that nobody wants to be riding on.”

Sandy Kovar helped organize the walk.

Kovar: “Michael's death is always going to be a part of us and that's never going to go away., but through our TEARS organization and partnering with Altru and getting the word out there it's been a little bit of a comfort and helped me on my grief journey realizing we are hopefully helping other people so they won't have to go through it.”

Experts say those affected by suicide or depression, should seek help immediately. One place to start is Altru's Psychiatry Center.

Mike Dewald- Altru Psychiatry Clinic: “Ask questions. Be involved. If you think your child is in trouble or might be contemplating suicide it's always important to ask that question of them. find out what's going on.”

Kovar: “We want to save lives and just get people to the help that they need so they don't get to the point where they're even thinking of ending their lives. So if you are depressed and need some guidance, that support is out there as well.”

As the walk ended balloons dotted the sky ... a final reminder of those who've taken their own life.

All proceeds from the walk go to local programs working to prevent suicides.

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