WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – A candlelight vigil was held for suicide awareness in Warren Saturday night.
The event was held at the Victory Christian Center. The goals of the event were to bring people together who has lost someone to suicide and to raise awareness for anyone who might be suffering from being suicidal.
“People struggle with it because it makes them weird or it makes them unacceptable. It makes them taboo to talk about it, but the reality is, this is a very real situation that people deal with on a daily basis,” said Pastor Mikel Lagaras at the event.
One of the speakers, Mary Copiak, lost her daughter, Valerie who was 19, to a drug overdose in 1998.
She says she suspected that Valerie had a drinking problem. After her suicide, Copiak felt an enormous amount of guilt.
“I blame myself a lot because I’m in recovery. I should have seen something there. I should have seen she was more than just that drunk. Being in recovery myself, I should have seen it was more. I took a lot of guilt and a lot of blame being her mother,” said Copiak.
The pain will always be there, but for Copiak, helping people with similar cases is her way of healing.
“I’m walking through it, to help other people, but I’ll never get over it. That’s my child,” Copiak said.
Lagaras echoes some of the words of advice for anyone who may need it.
“The best thing for someone, a family member could tell someone who is struggling with suicidal tendencies is to either get help, seek help. Please, get help,” Lagara said.