SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO AM) - Suicide is the second leading cause of death for South Dakotans ages 34 and younger.
Karen Krietlow of Sioux Falls lost her 25-year-old brother-in-law to suicide ten years ago. She says he was an exremely popular young man with many friends. She calls him good-natured and warm-hearted. She says there were no red flags and his death caught everyone by surprise.
Krietlow says he made the decision to end his life and it greatly impacted the family. She says it's a unique type of loss. Krietlow says the family eventually met with a support group and the healing began. She says meeting more people that have been through similar experiences has helped greatly.
The HelpLine Center in Sioux Falls operates South Dakota’s national suicide prevention line and last year took 1,800 calls from people with suicidal thoughts.
The Step Forward to Prevent Suicide walk/run, benefiting the HelpLine, is Saturday, June 21st at Falls Park. The walk/run will fund prevention programs and raise awareness.