The Iowa Department of Public Health estimates that 350 Iowans take their own lives each year leaving behind friends and family members.
More than 100 people who have lost a loved one to suicide gathered at Des Moines University Saturday morning.
The event was in conjunction with national “Survivor of Suicide Loss Day”. Those in attendance shared their stories of grief and coping with their loss.
Dale Chell says he’s lost several friends to suicide and credits the support from people around him for getting through it.
“I think with suicide death, you tend to see more guilt and shame about the topic because of the stigma associated with suicide death. That’s why it’s important to provide healing and support for them,” said Chell.
The event was organized by the Iowa Department of Public Health and the American Suicide Prevention Foundation.
People struggling with thoughts of suicide or who are concerned about a loved one are encouraged to call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.