By WIFR Newsroom

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) — Local organizations and students gathered at Rock Valley College on Tuesday afternoon to help raise awareness about suicide prevention.

Speakers discussed signs of depression and ways to end the stigma around mental health. Organizers say events like this aim to help those struggling and let them know are supported and not alone.

“One of our goals is to communicate with the family,” says Kevin Polky, founder of Shatter Our Silence.”We want to raise that awareness, educate them to be able to look for the signs and look for the factors that may lead someone to be in that darkness.”

Suicide claimed the lives of 44 people in Boone and Winnebago counties in 2017 and 52 people in 2018.

WIFR Newsroom Video: