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CARLTON-Just one day before a suicide awareness walk in Carlton, coordinators with the region's "Text 4 Life" program report more people than ever are dialing in.
The suicide prevention and discussion line now handles hundreds of calls and texts each month - growing from only dozens at the start of the year-old program.
One person who plans to march on Saturday is Jo Angell. Her 26-year-old son, Doug, took his own life years in 2007, she said.
Now she is trying to remove the stigma that may follow family members after a suicide and instead replace it with support, Angell said.
"I remember after he died I was sitting on the floor here crying and thinking, you know, he tried so hard to be happy and put on a good front for people," Angell said.
"And I remember thinking no matter how sad and how much pain I'm in right now, I couldn't even wrap my mind and still I can't wrap my mind around how much pain and sadness he was really dealing with every day," Angell said.
Jo is one of Doug's survivor's - someone affected by his death. Federal studies suggest each suicide leaves behind at least six of them.
This weekend a walk will join these people and their supporters together to walk in Carlton County where public health educators say it's one of the worst affected areas in the state.
"It's a place for people to come to remember a person, a friend, a family member that they've lost to suicide, and to be educated about prevention," Meghann Conditt with Carlton County Public Health and Human Services said.
Last year The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provided a grant to help launch the Text 4 Life program that connects anyone confidentially with counselors who can help during feelings of distress.
Managers says the system is already a success putting out information ahead of later, more serious thoughts.
"They went from about between five and twenty phone calls per month to now averaging about 300 text message conversations each month," Conditt said.
Jo Angell said Doug received treatment for depression but it is impossible to know what triggered his suicide.
Now she says her goal is staying active in the conversation and helping others with the pain as they help her.
"It's just this automatic connection. You have an understanding. You have an understanding and a heart connection there that other people, even your closest friends and family don't quite get it because they really haven't been there," Angell said.
The 4th Annual Suicide Awareness Memorial Walk starts at 9:30 on Saturday morning. Walkers will be leaving from and returning to the Bethesda Lutheran Church.
Up to 200 people are expected to attend.