SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Wendy Mamer lost her father, Robert, to suicide just over five years ago.
“It’s never something you expect. It came out of nowhere and I remember feeling, ‘How can this be my life?'” Mamer said.
At the time, someone encouraged Mamer to get connected with the Helpline Center’s survivor resources, but she never made that call.
“It was that barrier of me being afraid to pick up the phone and call and have to re-share my story in a way to receive access to those resources that really prohibited me from seeking support,” Mamer said.
Mamer is now the suicide loss and support coordinator at the Helpline Center.
A website launched Wednesday could help remove that barrier for suicide loss survivors.
Features of the site include a downloadable resource guide called “Healing After a Suicide Loss” and a remembrance page.
A virtual support group is also being offered.
Just over 200 people died of suicide in South Dakota in 2021, according to state data.
This new website will help make resources more accessible to people across South Dakota, including rural areas.
“Suicide affects everyone across the state, not just those of us here in Sioux Falls and so we’re really taking steps forward to be able to hopefully fill those gaps that have previously been in place,” Mamer said.
The website and expanded resources were funded by the 437 Project, which is a run across the state that benefits the Helpline Center.