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Suicide prevention organization


AUSTIN, Minn. (KTTC)-- Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the U-S, but those struggling, whether it be with dependency or depression now have somewhere to turn to here in Southeast Minnesota.

Desperate Tears is a non-profit organization helping to bring awareness to suicide prevention in Austin.

Wednesday night they hosted a fundraising effort showcasing an array of bands in an effort to shine a light on the prevention and awareness the heavily stigmatized topic.

The nightmare of suicide took center stage at Paramount theatres in Austin.

The lyrics are what told his story.

Front man of Seventh Day Slumber, Joseph Rojas says, "There's a song called Wasted Life that's a song about my personal life is a song about my personal life. I used to be a drug addict"

The Christian Rock band's front man Joseph Rojas has come a long way since his $400 a day cocaine habit.

Rojas says, "Cocaine wouldn't even get me high anymore so I made the decision to use it to end my life. My mother walked in and I overdosed in front of her on her living room floor. In the back of an ambulance I felt the hand of God and I just knew that Jesus was with me."

Salvation changed his life, now Joseph has made it his goal to help others who are struggling.

Rojas says, "It doesn't matter whether you were raised in church or not. Pain is universal. I just want to encourage people that you're not alone man. There is a God in heaven and you're not alone."

Seventh Day Slumber was just one band taking part in the suicide awareness event.

Founder of Desperate Tears Shelly Letendre, "I know how deep one can go and how the negative thoughts you put in yourself where there's no more tears left."

Hence the name Shelley chose for the organization, a support system she started after suffering depression herself and the loss of a close friend.

Letendre says, "I think it hit a lot of people that you know what, he's number nine in three months that took their lives in Austin, so I'm like you know what something's wrong here. We need to do something, so I started doing research."

Realizing there was few options for someone grappling with suicide Shelley launched the nonprofit organization in hopes to save peoples lives.

The concert isn't LeTendre's only plan in the works. She has a local fundraising run arranged for June 2 to benefit mental health. The Darren Dash offers registrants the choice to participate in a half marathon, 5K or kiddie run. Proceeds will go to Desperate Tears.

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