KBZK: Bozeman community hosts Out of the Darkness walk for suicide prevention

BOZEMAN – When their son Patrick took his own life last year, Tracey and Mike Rassley were met with shock.

“He was away at college and we didn’t realize that he was kind of having a hard time,” said Tracey Rassley. “We’re out here to raise more awareness of kids who seem like they are doing great but might really not be at all.”

Joining other parents of victims, survivors and allies, the Rassley’s are walking to end suicide with the Out of The Darkness Bozeman community walk.

“What most of you wouldn’t think when you come and meet me, I’m a survivor of a suicide attempt,” said Sara Dukart, Mrs. Montana International 2016.

“We would not be standing at this point, even 19 and 1/2 months later without the help of our friends and some of these people here with us today are hugely instrumental in us and our mental health at this point,” Rassley said.

A group of Vietnam Veterans attended to bring awareness to the high number of military related suicides. 

“Well. I’ll be walking along side a group of Vietnam veterans, our veterans have a high suicide rate and Montana has a high veteran population so this is an important factor,” said Senator Steve Daines.

“It’s hard to readjust when coming back from the war zone because you’re disoriented and you feel confused and so forth and so on,” said U.S. Vietnam veteran Dean Hall.

Another way to help? Support changes in legislation. 

“We need to continue to invest in mental health and counseling because this is preventable,” Daines said.

There are also a variety of colors you can wear in support of loss of a spouse, loss of a child, loss of a parent or just general suicide prevention.