Resources for Suicide Prevention Month are available | Mason City and Northern Iowa

Mary LodenGlobe Gazette

The “Touched by Suicide” support group holds meetings the third Thursday of each month from 6-8 p.m. at Mason City 1st United Methodist Church. Although the group was formed many years ago, it came under the management of Wendy Martinez in 2007.

Martinez considers herself a suicide survivor, someone who learned to cope and heal after the suicide of someone she loved. For her, he was a brother. Her partner also lost a former partner.

“Until you get straight into it, you don’t realize how many someone has lost,” Martinez said. “It’s not a topic that comes up. It is a stigma. I know how it feels. If I can help one person, it’s worth it.

In addition to leading the support group, Martinez serves as Chair of the Board/Treasurer of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP.org.) Through AFSP, she has organized many community events in Mason City, such as the Out of the Darkness Walk, the Couples Walk and the Ride to Fight Suicide.

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“I’m just trying to create awareness and a place where people can come,” Martinez said.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has proclaimed September Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. According to the nami.org website, this organization encourages people to unite their voices to advocate for better mental health care, including an effective crisis response system. 988 is the new national number for getting quick help during a mental health, addiction and suicide crisis.

Call or text 988 or chat with 988lifeline.org to join the 988 Suicide & Crisis lifeline.

Mary Loden covers city and county government for the Globe Gazette. You can reach her by emailing [email protected]

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