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Member organizations of the Winnipeg Suicide Prevention Network (WSPN) want people to know it's important to talk about mental health and suicide. 

The group held an informational event at Vimy Ridge Memorial Park today, to mark World Suicide Prevention Day and provide information on the resources available to people having suicidal thoughts or those who are dealing with someone having those thoughts. 

One of the member groups of WSPN is Klinic Community Health. 

Klinic's director of counselling and community health, Rosemarie Gjerek says in addition to providing resources, they want to teach people how to talk about suicide in a positive way. 

"We all have a role to play in suicide prevention and that's something that can very easily be done," Gjerek said. "If you do see someone who is perhaps going through a difficult time or you notice changes in attitudes and behaviours, that might be a time to ask that person if they are OK and if they want to talk." 

Klinic runs a 24-hour suicide crisis hotline with staff and volunteers. Gjerek says both people experiencing thoughts of suicide and people who know someone dealing with those thoughts can call the hotline for information and help.

She also says it can be a great resource for people who have lost a loved one or loved ones to suicide. 

"We really need to be normalizing these feelings and experiences because we all go through it at certain times in our lives," Gjerek said. "It's really about getting that message of hope out there, asking for help when you need it and knowing where to go when you need that help and support." 

"I think it's good to dispel some of the concerns of barriers in coming forward in discussing mental health and suicide." 

Kris Goodman is the organizer of the Breaking the Silence Suicide Awareness Motorcycle Ride, which just completed its third year this past Saturday, Sept. 8. This year they had to battle some rain but raised $1,100 for Klinic's support line and presented them with the cheque today. 

Goodman's connection to the cause is extremely personal, as some of his family members have lost close friends to suicide. He also says about a month ago a friend of his with borderline personality disorder reached out to him and told him she was going to jump in the river, but he was successful in talking her down. 

"Talk to somebody, talk about it and let people know," Goodman said. "Sometimes you can see someone is down in the dumps, but sometimes you can't. Sadly you lose some. They slip through your fingers and you sit there and say 'What did I do wrong? What could I have done differently?' but really you can't beat yourself up over that because some people hide it so well that you can't see it." 

"You have to talk about it. My wife always says 'The more you talk about it, the more you take away its power.' If you talk about it you can prevent it hopefully."