HOUGHTON - Copper Country residents who have lost someone to suicide will have a chance to meet and talk with other survivors at an event in Houghton Saturday.
The free event, held in conjunction with International Survivors of Suicide Day, is one of more than 250 events that will take place across the world. It starts at 12:30 p.m. at the Houghton City Center.
This is the fourth year for the event locally, which has doubled in turnout each year, said Kevin Weir, information manager of Dial Help.
"It's a large enough group where people have found support, and they even offer up ideas that have helped them," he said.
The event begins at 12:30 p.m. with registration and an optional soup lunch. Cindy Collins from L'Anse, who lost her son in 2009, will be the official greeter. At 1 p.m., there will be a video broadcast that is being shown to viewers across the world, along with a candlelight vigil. An annual part of the event, it has a new set of panelists each year, Weir said.
At 2:15 p.m., survivors will be able to listen, share and network with each other. They can also make a "Suicide Remembrance Board" either by bringing their own pictures, writings and supplies or using materials on hand. People can either take their pieces home or leave them at Dial Help.
A licensed professional counselor and survivors who have attended past events will be on hand to provide guidance and support.
About 1 million people commit suicide each year worldwide, Weir said.
"You've got millions and millions left behind by suicide, and that's more than the victims of war and homicide combined," he said.
Weir thinks the event has helped heal people by helping them realize they're not alone.
"To realize that they are going through a similar type of grief, I do think is a positive takeaway from this kind of event," he said.
The event is sponsored by Dial Help Community Support & Outreach Center, The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Copper Country Mental Health Institute. To pre-register, email Dial Help at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 482-9077 or for more information go to dialhelp.org.