Empty shoes fill Capitol steps for suicide awareness

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MADISON (WKOW) — Empty shoes covered the steps of the state Capitol on Thursday.

Each pair represents a person who took their own life in 2018. This is the third year the Center for Suicide Awareness has set up the display on the steps during Suicide Prevention Month.

Organizers hope the display pushes lawmakers to bring the conversation about mental health to the forefront.

“We just have to all unite and it’s going to take all of us putting our hands in together to really work on this issue, and it is an epidemic in Wisconsin,” said Barb Bigalkie, Executive Director of the center.

The center also offers the “Hopeline”, which is a free, statewide, 24/7 text support service.

HOPELINE offers emotional support and resources before situations rise to crisis level. Texts received reflect struggles with breakups, job loss, bullying, LGBTQ issues, parental issues, school, friends, relationship issues or any struggle a person is experiencing.

To use the service, text “HOPELINE” to 741741

Emily Friese

Emily Friese

27 News Producer

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