Neighborhood NewsLewistown and Fergus County


Observing 'Suicide Loss Survivor Day'

Posted at 9:54 AM, Nov 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-21 12:06:52-05

LEWISTOWN — The Central Montana Community Center in Lewistown hosted a suicide loss survivor forum on Saturday, November 18th.

Vicki Eades, who lost her son to suicide in 2020, organized the event and hopes she can expand the operation to other communities in Montana.

“If we could expand this all over the state, you know, Lewistown is not the only one. Great Falls is not the only one. Billings, Missoula, Helena. Every single community in Montana has been affected with the loss of someone from suicide,” says Eades.

The event gave survivors a chance to grieve together and feel heard by others.

“I do think it's like a nice form of therapy to realize you're not alone and you're not the only one that feels that way. If something does happen, maybe I can reach out to them and go, I'm having a bad day today because of this. And if you have someone to speak to so you don't feel so alone,” says Jennifer Burnham, another suicide loss survivor.

Vicki believes even though Montana is a national leader in suicide rates, the stigma to suppress the conversation is higher than elsewhere.

“Montana, we're strong, and I feel like people don't want to say that it's happening here. You know, we're not we're not supposed to do that. We're supposed to be a big, strong state. And it is happening daily,” says Eades.

If you or anyone you know is in crisis, you can call 988 at any time (24/7) to be connected to someone who can help.