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Tea counselor coordinates event, promotes suicide prevention education efforts

Out of the Darkness Walk to be held September 19

September is National Suicide Prevention Month, but for suicide prevention advocates like Tea Area school counselor Anna Eidem, attempts to educate others on the topic occur on a daily basis.

Eidem lost her only brother, Michael, to suicide in June 2009, one day shy of his thirty-fourth birthday. That fall and the next, she and her family joined the Out of the Darkness Walk in Rochester, Minnesota.

Out of the Darkness walks across the country are coordinated through the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and serve as bonding opportunities for suicide survivors and create opportunities for prevention education. The events also serve as fundraisers to support suicide prevention awareness and educational programs, research and advocacy opportunities for public policy.

In 2011, AFSP asked Eidem to coordinate an Out of the Darkness Walk for the Sioux Falls area. She continues to be involved with both AFSP and the Sioux Falls walk and is gearing up for the next one, which is set to be held at Terrace Park on Sept. 19.

In addition to coordinating walks, Eidem serves as a field advocate for AFSP and became the board chair of the organization’s South Dakota chapter in January.

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