Suicide is not an easy word to say or subject to talk about but we need to start talking about it.

Talking about suicide will help break the stigma surrounding mental health and may ultimately save lives. My story began in March of 2016, when I lost my cousin Rob to suicide. My family was shocked to the core. I saw him four days prior to his death and had no idea that he may have been struggling with thoughts of ending his life. A few months later in November, I lost a friend/former co-worker, Jeff, to suicide. In July of 2017, my daughter lost her close friend, Nic, to suicide.

As you can imagine, it was hard to watch your child struggle with losing a close friend at such an early age. She keeps his memory alive to this day. In October of 2019, my stepson lost one of his best friends, Payton, to suicide. On Aug. 29, I lost Kris, who was a friend from high school. I have been directly impacted by suicide from all angles. The struggle is real. Being a survivor and learning how to move forward in life without your loved one is sometimes one of the hardest things to do in life.

Through my loss, I have learned that we need to connect and support one another in our loss. When I was offered my role, I was not sure if I could mentally or emotionally endure what was needed for me to do the job. I did know that I wanted to help those impacted by suicide and that was the drive that I needed to provide trainings and to talk about suicide. I have been able to heal through my position, and have made the decision to go back to school to continue to work directly with those affected by suicide.

Did you know that suicide is a leading cause of death? Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. It is the eighth leading cause of death in Minnesota, and is the second leading cause of death for young people 15-24 years of age. There is one suicide every 11 minutes in the U.S. and one attempt every 26 seconds.

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Destiny Brown and Jon Tinnes
Destiny Brown and Jon Tinnes

Because of my personal experience, I am blessed to have the opportunity to help those affected by suicide and to provide QPR trainings to help prevent the tragedy of suicide. I offer QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) trainings to the community.

QPR trainings that I am able to offer:

  • QPR Gatekeeper Core,

  • QPR for Clergy,

  • QPR for Elder Care Workers,

  • QPR for Rural and Agricultural communities,

  • QPR for School Settings,

  • QPR for Emergency Service Professionals, includes 1 POST credit for Law Enforcement.

The mission of QPR is to save lives and reduce suicidal behavior by providing innovative, practical, and proven suicide prevention training. QPR is a free training that is approximately 60 minutes long.

What you will learn during a QPR training:

  • Skills to:

    • Question: a person about suicide

    • Persuade: someone to get help

    • Refer: someone to the appropriate resource for help

  • By learning QPR, you will learn to recognize the warning signs, clues, and suicidal communications of people in trouble, and gain skills to act vigorously to prevent a possible tragedy.

  • QPR teaches the fundamentals that may save a life, much like CPR or the Heimlich maneuver.

  • You will learn myths and facts in regards to suicide, statistics about suicide.

  • You also will receive resources to handout to anyone that may need them. I can also send out resources for anyone who may want those.

To schedule your free, one-hour QPR training or to learn more about QPR, call: Destiny Brown at 218-821-2501 or email:

Upcoming Events:

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is hosting their Out of the Darkness virtual walk on Oct. 9. Team registration can be done by going to:

Brainerd Lakes Suicide Loss Survivors Support Group:

Lutheran Church of the Cross

5064 County Road 13 - Schaefer’s Corner

Nisswa, Minnesota 56468

Meetings are the first and third Monday 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m.

Contact: Jeri Borgwarth: 763-442-2671 or email: