‘Suicide Awareness Walk’ held in Moody County

Local News

FLANDREAU, S.D. (KELO) — People in Moody County gathered at the Flandreau High School football field on Sunday to walk, remember and show awareness about suicide.

The event was organized by the Moody County Ministerial Association.

“I just think that it’s important for all of us to realize that no matter what our difference is in our community, everybody comes together for the things that we need to come together for, and that’s what’s the most important, is we’re all here for each other,” Moody County Sheriff Troy Wellman said.

The walk started at 1:00 p.m. and lasted until 3:00 p.m. People could come and go and walk as much as they wanted to show their support.

“It’s great to see that many,” pastor Alan Blankenfeld said. “You know, and the message we want to get across to people is, there is no burden too heavy to carry. Have somebody help you. There’s plenty of help, whether it’s a pastor you know or a friend or call 211. Get help.”

When we spoke with him today, Blankenfeld brought up the names of three local lives lost to suicide since March 2019. He teamed up with area pastors to organize today’s event.

“We as pastors just said, ‘Hey, this is enough.’ We need to get the message out to show support for the family and friends to know that we care as pastors and this community cares and I think that’s evident by how many are out here today as we just want to show our support,” Blankenfeld said.

“It’s nice to see everybody gather together as communities and really come together and show support for each other,” attendee Shelby Hiller said.

Among those attending were cousins who lost a loved one to suicide.

“It means a lot to us. It means a lot to his family that everyone is here,” Baylee Palli said. There is a ton of people from Colman. There’s a ton of people from Flandreau. If anything, it just shows that if anyone else is feeling how Taitt felt, that there’s a lot of people out there that love them that can help in any way they know how and that it’s not just us hurting. It’s the whole community. He was very loved.”

If you need help, you can click on the links to find resources for suicide prevention for South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number is 1-800-273-8255.

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