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Born to Be Alive

The family of Evan Carrow wanted to make sure no other family would have to go through what they've been through, losing a promising young son to suicide. They approached Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center and Avera Marshall Foundation with the idea of establishing the "Tribute to Evan Carrow Fund" to educate the community about depression and suicide. A partnership which involved Marshall High School, Avera Marshall Psychiatry Associates, Avera Marshall Behavioral Health Center and Western Mental Health Center brought together a focus group of Marshall High School students. The message was loud and clear. Yes, teens face many challenges today and, as a couple of them put it, "are hiding behind a mask just to get through the day."

The Carrow family's goal became a reality when this group formed the "Born to Be Alive" campaign and organized their first community event in April 2009. Three of the committee members agreed to tell their own stories, as did a mom who had lost her son to suicide 15 years ago. Their goal was to reach out to encourage teens to seek help and to urge families and friends to watch for signs of a loved one dealing with depression. Over 350 community members attended that night and heard the powerful message.

One in three will suffer from depression and/or thoughts of suicide in their lifetime. Teens are particularly vulnerable. Depression is a disease just like cancer or diabetes. People don't choose to suffer with depression any more than they choose to get another type of illness.

The Carrow family wants to ensure that this message is ongoing and sustained overtime. The "Born to Be Alive" committee continues to work on ways to raise awareness of teen depression and suicide. Contributions to the "Tribute to Evan Carrow Fund" will help to further these efforts.

Additional Information

Deb Herrmann, RN, Marshall High School, 507-537-6920, ext. 1010

Vickie Abel, Avera Marshall Organizational Learning Director, 507-537-9087