‘Living with suicide loss’: Alexandria business owner turns tragedy into action

‘Living with suicide loss’: Alexandria business owner turns tragedy into action
Stock photo.

CORNWALL, Ontario – Katherine MacDonald aims to end the stigma around suicide with a free event at Glengarry District High School this Tuesday evening.

The owner of Munro & Morris Funeral Homes in Alexandria started the initiative three years ago.

The free event runs from 6-8 p.m. on October 13 and will feature guest speakers Larry Pegg, suicide awareness advocate, and Alain Berger, president of Bereaved Families of Cornwall & Area.

“I see first hand the impact suicide has on those left behind,” said MacDonald, the funeral home’s family care provider (dealing with estate matters). “The grief can leave the bereaved very isolated and at an increased risk for suicide themselves. My hope is to create support so that they aren’t as isolated.”

The subject really hits home, too.

Glengarry has one of the highest provincial average for suicide rate,” she said. “I’m hoping to change those statics by changing the stigma surrounded by mental illness. It would be great to eventually see more people comfortable to reach out for help which would hopefully decrease the suicide rate. Glengarry is such a supportive community that I feel it’s not an impossible task to do.”

In addition to speaking at Tuesday’s event, Pegg will also be providing the musical entertainment.

The Greely musician knows the heartbreak associated with losing a child all too well.

After Pegg lost his daughter, Kelly, to suicide in 2007, the singer-songwriter turned to music to spread a positive message to youth across the country and around the world.

“Both guest speakers will be discussing what they have faced after a loss to suicide and how people can help whether it be individually, professionally or as a community,” said MacDonald.

Participating orgnizations include: Baldwin House, Bereaved Families of Ontario, Canadian Mental Health Association, Centre de santé communautaire de l’Estrie, Cornwall & District Family Support, Glengarry Inter Agency (GIAG), Ontario Provincial Police, Tri-County Mental Health, and Victim Services.

Glengarry District High School is located at 212 Main Street North in Alexandria.

For more information, call Munro & Morris Funeral Homes at (613) 525-2772.

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