What you should know Sunday, Sept. 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day, the marquee date of Suicide Prevention Month.

Why it’s important Research estimates that more than 29,000 Americans already have committed suicide in 2017. There are ways to help both at the local/county and national levels.

It’s extremely difficult to cope with the loss of anyone who commits suicide. But Starla Malone had the misfortune of witnessing it occur right in front of her.

Two years ago this month, Malone witnessed her husband Robert horrifyingly pull the trigger on a gun to his face as they both were in their bedroom. Starla naturally entered a state of shock and later needed to be taken to the hospital. Since then, she’s searched for answers and help in dealing with the trauma of watching a loved one kill himself right in front of her.

Starla, who grew up in El Dorado and moved back to town after living and working in Indiana for 26 years, discovered Journey to Recovery. That group, which is a part of the National Alliance on Mental Illness in Butler County, is hosting an event she believes can be helpful for so many people in the county who have nowhere else to turn. Not only can it be a help for those who might be dealing with suicidal thoughts, but it also shows the other side of it, the side with those who will be affected by suicide the rest of their lives.

“I think it’s important for people to see, hear and know how this affects those of us who are left behind, because it changes us forever,” Starla said.

Starla said her husband, who served in the Marines, dealt with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Whether it’s PTSD or other challenges affecting a person’s mind, she wants people to here a more positive message than what social media or a show like “13 Reasons Why” has to offer.

Journey to Recovery will host a candle-lit Memorial Service for those who have their life to suicide, followed by a social with a dance Saturday evening, Sept. 16 at 127 E. 6th St. in El Dorado. For more information, contact namibutler@gmail.com or call 316-621-1858.