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Corner Brook's Thomas Park has lost friends and family to suicide, but knows it's not the answer


One suicide is too many, so Thomas Park has experienced far more than enough needless deaths in his life. 

Thomas Park and his four-year-old daughter Emery Roche stop for a photo during the 10th annual World Suicide Prevention Day annual walk in Corner Brook Monday evening.
Thomas Park and his four-year-old daughter Emery Roche stop for a photo during the 10th annual World Suicide Prevention Day annual walk in Corner Brook Monday evening.

In his 27 years, the Corner Brook resident has seen three friends and one family member take their own life.

He’s even been close to the edge himself.

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“I’d be lying if I said it never crossed my mind before,” said Park, one of around 200 people who participated in the World Suicide Prevention Day annual walk in Corner Brook Monday evening.

The most recent time suicide has touched his life was this past spring when a good friend of his died by his own hand in Ontario. Park said his friend was a good guy with a heart of gold.

“It was sad to see another one go,” he reflected.

Like many suicides, depression seems to have been a common link in all of the cases that have hit close to home for Park.

“Everyone goes through their own battles and it’s hard to know what people are going through,” he said. “There should be more resources for people. You don’t know. It happens to the most unexpected people sometimes.”

Park is fortunate not to have let his dark thoughts overtake him. He said finding the right people to reach out to and to talk about what is happening is the key to preventing suicidal thoughts from becoming suicidal actions.

He said he knows, no matter how bad things might seem, they will always get better.

“That’s the only way to look at it,” said Park. “One day at a time.”

Sandie Batt smiles as she is consoled by the crowd's applause after telling the heartbreaking story of losing her father and sister to suicide and her lifelong battle to overcome the social stigma attached to family members taking their own lives.
Sandie Batt smiles as she is consoled by the crowd's applause after telling the heartbreaking story of losing her father and sister to suicide and her lifelong battle to overcome the social stigma attached to family members taking their own lives.

 

Around 200 people marched through downtown Corner Brook during the World Suicide Prevention Day annual walk in Corner Brook Monday evening.
Around 200 people marched through downtown Corner Brook during the World Suicide Prevention Day annual walk in Corner Brook Monday evening.

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