HARRISBURG, S.D. (KELO) – Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Here in South Dakota, it’s 9th, making it important to raise awareness.
Gunner Beckering lost his mom, Amy Beckering, to suicide when he was 18 years old.
“She was my best friend, and it made me turn into a person, I wouldn’t say I’m embarrassed of, but I turned into a person that I’m not proud of, and it’s spiraled me into a meth addiction for about 7 years,” event organizer, Gunner Beckering said. “Losing my mom, I can’t explain how much I don’t want people to have that feeling.”
That’s why Saturday night he is holding a suicide awareness benefit at The Phoenix Lounge in Harrisburg.
“It’s called Live; Live, but in between the live and the live is a semicolon because a semicolon is the representation for people who are survivors of suicide, either themselves or family members or loved ones, that’s the representation of making it through,” Beckering said.
The event will also feature a concert called Rap 4 Awareness.
All of the proceeds will benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention South Dakota Chapter.
“Any time that a conversation gets to get started or more people get to get reached, it just broadens the scope and it creates a community that is strong about mental health and suicide awareness and just makes more people know that it is ok to not be ok, but not ok to stay that way,” board chair for American Foundation for Suicide Prevention South Dakota Chapter, Angela Drake said.
An event Beckering hopes can make a difference.
“Losing my mom to suicide is definitely the biggest catalyst in what I’m doing here, if we can reach one person, that’s the goal,” Beckering said.
Doors open at 7 p.m. with the show starting at 8 p.m.. There will be a $5 cover charge.
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, you can call the Helpline Center at 211, or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
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