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Minnesota National Guard
Police, National Guard Raising Awareness about Suicide (video)

Posted: Feb 06, 2012 6:43 PM CST Monday, February 6, 2012 7:43 PM EST
By Joel Runck, News Reporter / Weekend Weather Anchor - email

NEW ULM, Minn - Last year the New Ulm Police Department dealt with more than 80 suicide-related calls
Officials say a significant portion of those involved current or former armed service members In the Minnesota Army National Guard, officials are keeping vigilance when it comes to suicide
"We've been alarmed," said Cpt Michael S Graves of the Minnesota Army National Guard
The National Guard says a significant portion of the at-risk behavior is suicide-related
"We've seen it as an issue as far as us being able to complete our mission in the Minnesota Army National Guard," said Graves

In New Ulm alone, police say they dealt with a total of 83 suicide-related calls in 2011
"It's a slight increase from what we saw the year before," said Cmdr David Borchert of the New Ulm Police Department "Unfortunately we've been seeing suicide on a regular basis and suicide-related calls"
When troops return home from overseas, authorities say police calls for service change
"We notice more calls like when the soldiers come back from deployments," Borchert said

Graves says the National Guard is taking note of the problem
"We're definitely seeing an increase as a society and the Minnesota Army National Guard is seeing a concurrent increase in suicides," Graves said
In an effort to mitigate the issue, the National Guard, New Ulm Police Department and Yellow Ribbon program are teaming up in Sleepy Eye this March Officials are coordinating a run/walk event designed to raise suicide awareness
"The run is going to be a fun day," said Borchert "It's going to be a good program to just raise awareness for suicides and hopefully accomplish some suicide prevention"
Bottom line, officials say don't be afraid to seek assistance
"Many soldiers are afraid that asking for help hurts them in some way, well the fact is that it doesn't," said Graves
The 'Break the Ice' 5K and 10K run will take place on March 31st starting at 9 AM in Sleepy Eye The event is open to the public and will take place at Allison Park
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