Annual suicide and mental health awareness event returns to Winona

On Friday, Oct. 6, the Hiawatha Valley Mental Health Center will host a suicide, overdose and recovery awareness event as Minnesota rates rise.

Held at the Minnesota Marine art Museum in Winona, Minn., the event will welcome guest speakers, food trucks, resource tables and a performance from New York based-performers Dueling Pianos for Bringing Light Into Darkness.

The event will run from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. with tickets available onsite or on Eventbrite.

In 2019, Minnesota suicide rates reached an all-time high, peaking at 830 deaths that year; rates rose by more than 12% between 2018 to 2019, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.

After dipping in 2020, rates rose to 808 in 2021; 2022 data is still being processed by the MnDOH, however estimates show another peak.

Suicide in Minnesota has nearly risen by 20% as the state’s population has risen by 16% between 2001 to 2021, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

September is recognized as Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Awareness Month and Bringing Light Into Darkness will take place during Mental Illness Awareness Week.