I wish to express my concern about suicide-loss groups, depression groups and the national prevention number being made more aware.

On Aug. 1, I lost my best friend, Benjamin S. Bergman, to suicide. I personally believe if Bergman had been made more aware of the opportunities he had to get help, this could have been prevented.

Studies from the National Institute of Mental Health say an average of about 17 million U.S. adults suffer from depression. Depression is a highly treatable illness through the support of others.

Groups and the suicide-prevention number is a resource that is available, but many people don’t know that these resources are available to them, even when they should. I say this because these groups and this number will help an individual realize they are not alone; other people are here to help.

It is time we as communities, counties and states come together as one to make a difference.

We make this difference by creating more support groups throughout our communities, while also making them more known. It is time the suicide prevention number (1-800-273-8255) gets its own commercial. It is time Americans start giving people the opportunity to help themselves. It is time we start trying to help people so nobody has to understand the pain of losing someone to suicide like I do every day.

It is our responsibility to start protecting the ones we love, so people like Ben stop losing their lives.

Brianna Corey, La Crosse

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