Motorcycle ride aims to raise suicide awareness

CREATED Oct. 13, 2013 - UPDATED: Oct. 14, 2013

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MENASHA - The Center for Suicide Awareness in Kaukauna hosted its first "Ride to End Suicide" Sunday.

The idea to do a suicide awareness motorcycle ride grew from the prevention center's walk for suicide awareness. The annual walk began just three years ago and has more than tripled in participants since. Organizers hope this ride will grow in much the same way.

Colette Taylor knows firsthand what's it's like to cope with a loved one taking their own life. Her husband committed suicide 13 years ago.

"I didn't have that support system so I had to turn to family and friends for that and it was hard to talk about my private stuff with them and so having a group helps them to realize hey I’m not alone in this world,” Taylor said.

Taylor is joining dozens of bikers, taking a ride around Lake Winnebago.

"The more awareness that you can bring not only to one city but across our state then you're bringing attention that we have to a better job, our suicide rates are at epidemic portions and we need to work together in the efforts of prevention,” said Barb Bidlake.

Bidlake is the executive director for the Center for Suicide Awareness in Kaukauna.

Suicide rates are on the rise across the country and according to the Centers for Disease Control are rising at higher levels in Wisconsin than most states. It's a trend riders hope can be reversed.