Swan River quad rally to raise awareness about suicide

Pearl Lorentzen
For South Peace News

It’s quad rally season! One of the new ones is focused on raising awareness about suicide prevention.
Kaly Twin is organizing Rally to Live on Swan River First Nation. She’s a member of Swan River. She lived most of her life in Edmonton, but has been in Kinuso for five years. During those five years, three people close to her have committed suicide.
In a letter, Twin wrote to raise gather sponsors for the event.
“In November 2020, my brother Chance Arcand [Twin] lost his battle to mental health, he left behind three young children and many family and friends.
“He’s my first cousin,” says Twin. “In my culture, he would be my brother. The happiest people aren’t always the happiest people.”
Arcand was one of the people who promised Twin they would never actually kill themselves, but eventually did.
There are two goals with Rally to Live. The first is “to raise awareness and break the silence on suicide,” says Twin. “To come together as a community and show that we all care.
“There’s so many people who don’t know about suicide,” she says. “I want people to know about their options.”
One of the main tools for someone struggling with suicidal thoughts is the free: the suicide-prevention help line at [1-833] 456-4566.
At the rally, Twin will have resources from the Canadian Mental Health Association [CMHA]. She will also talk about her own struggle with suicidal thoughts, and the people in her life who tried so many times that they finally succeeded in suicide.
People often battle suicidal thoughts internally, and other people don’t see the struggle, says Twin.
The second is to raise money for Arcand’s headstone.
Each year, around 4,000 people in Canada die by suicide, says CMHA.
“Suicide means that someone ends their life on purpose,” says the CMHA website.
“However, people who die by suicide or attempt suicide may not really want to end their life. Suicide may seem like the only way to deal with difficult feelings or situations.”
Rally to Live is June 11 on Swan River First Nation. There will be signs to direct people to the start. People register and start the route between 9 a.m. and noon. They need to finish the rally by 6 p.m.
A local resource for suicide prevention is Community Helpers. It is holding three days of free training, for community members who want to learn ways to help prevent suicide. It is May 24-26 at the Slave Lake Native Friendship Centre. To register, contact Rosemarie Boucher at [780] 849-3039.

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