‘Suicide: The Ripple Effect’ opens discussion | Local

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VIRGINIA — Mesabi Range College recently hosted a showing of “Suicide: The Ripple Effect” to open a discussion up about the effects of suicide.

The film is a documentary that tells the story of a young man who unsuccessfully attempted to take his life and the impact it had around him.

“The film chronicles Kevin Hine’s journey through his early life, his suicide attempt, the effect his attempt had on those around him, and how he has moved forward since,” said film promoter Claire Farmer-Lies over email. “He has now made it his life’s mission to raise awareness as a public speaker and author to prevent others from taking their own lives by being an advocate for those affected by mental health conditions.”

Beyond Hine’s personal story, the film goes on to illustrate how suicide has affected families and individuals’ journeys to healing.

“It’s an emotional rollercoaster,” stated Farmer-Lies, “but I think ultimately viewers walk away from the experience with a sense of hope and a feeling that there is help out there, we just need to help people connect to it. There’s still lots of work to do but it’s comforting to know that there are people who have made it their life’s mission to prevent suicide and reach out to people who may attempt or be affected by a loved one’s attempt. It’s heartbreaking at points of the film to see the raw impact that suicide has on families, but I think viewers also walk away with a sense of hope.”

The film was brought to the area by Residential Services Inc. and community partners St. Louis County, NAMI Duluth Area, Mesabi Range College, Northland Healthy Minds, & Arrowhead Health Alliance.

Kelly Sather, adult mental health supervisor for St. Louis County Public Health and Human Services attended the event.

“We’ve had recent losses in our communities of beautiful lives taken too soon,” said Sather. “I want people to know it’s okay to talk. It’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to ask others if they are doing okay. The point is…we need to talk. This is not something that can be helped in isolation. It takes a community to come together and make it okay. We need to start recognizing that our mental health is just as important as our physical health.”

Sather explained that bringing the documentary to Virginia was done with the intention to start people talking.

When asked why this film was brought to Virginia, Farmer-Lies said, “It’s important for us to bring this film and opportunity to connect with neighbors, colleagues, friends, and family members, and our community as a whole because suicide is something that so many of us are affected by, but is seldom spoken about in larger community settings. Our goal is to spark the conversation; to give people the resources and support they need to reach out to a family member or friend in need or at risk of suicide. We’re using this film and event as a catalyst to having those bigger, tougher conversations as a community and as individuals and families.”

“Suicide: The Ripple Effect” is a documentary co-directed and co-produced by Kevin Hines. To learn more about the film, visit their website http://suicidetherippleeffect.com/.