Community Searches for Life-Saving Answers

A small community is pulling together after a year of tragedy. The people of Treynor, Iowa poured into the Community Center Monday night to learn about suicide prevention.

Sixty people were expected. Hundreds showed. Among them: the mother of 14-year-old Zachery Thoms. Zachery took his own life a week ago.

Angela Thoms said, "I'm hoping something positive will come from this and my son's death; that this will help another child, another family, another parent to take a deeper look."

Four people in Treynor have committed suicide in the past year. It's a big loss for a town of a little more than 900.

Nigel Horton is a Treynor resident who said, “I think it is hard for all of us. I wouldn't say it's just hard for me. As a community, it just makes you ache."

It's one of those things that is difficult to talk about but it's encouraged to do. That's why Monday night’s event was about pulling together and providing resources.

Horton said, "As you live in your neighborhood, know who your neighbor is and be there to help them if they need it."

Thoms agrees and urges people to look for warning signs.

She said, "I think if you feel that there is something definitely going on, you need to dig deeper. You need to keep communicating."

It's a message the town is taking to heart. The big message is that there are resources and people to talk to.

A big resource is the National Suicide Hotline. It’s staffed 24/7 and you can get in touch at 1-800-273-8255. Check the shaded inset for additional resources.


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