Community gathers for suicide awareness

COOS COUNTY, Ore. -- A teen suicide prevention and awareness march brought dozens of people out to the Coos Bay Boardwalk.

Many talked about their personal experiences with suicide.

It was also a call to action to spread kindness and stop bullying in the community.

Tianna Davis is a senior at North Bend High School, and she says teens can have a lot to deal with. "As a teenager, I know you can go through a lot of hardships and you can experience either bullying or depression," she said.

But bullying and suicide aren't always related.

Dana Millner, the mother of 13-year-old Nathan Millner, who recently took his own life, says she doesn't believe bullying was a factor. "Nathan didn't see a way out of his sadness, but he didn't give us a chance to try and show him," she said.

She says communication could have helped save her son's life.

She wishes Nathan could have shared what he was going through so she could have helped him and let him know how much he meant to her.

David Geels, the Coos County Mental Health director, says talking about it is key. "The minute that people start letting someone know something's going on, it takes some of the fear and some of the scariness out of it," he said.

The Coos County public health department offers free mental health evaluations.

You can always call their crisis hotline at 541-751-2550.