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Father's mission for suicide awareness after death of 13-year-old daughter

Tek Burch is on mission to make sure every child feels loved after his daughter ended her own life.

SAINT PAUL, Minn. — If somebody loses a spouse we call that person a widow.

If someone loses a parent, we call that person an orphan.

But if someone loses a child, there is no word. But one thing is certain, it’s a club nobody wants to join. And Tek Burch is on mission to make sure every child feels loved after his daughter ended her own life. Somehow, the pressure of life was too much, and Burch said she ended hers life about one month before her 14th birthday.

“Took the whole family by surprise. One of the whole reasons I am trying to get this awareness of suicide and depression out there,” he said. “She was just one of the brightest things that I can think of. Now, here I am trying to make sure I co do my best to give people resources to help or a shoulder to lean on or an ear.”

Burch wants to help people to know and recognize the warning signs. Suicide preparedness is one of the best ways to ensure you’ll be ready to help a friend who may be struggling with suicidal thoughts.

The St. Paul resident partnered with the non-profit SAVE, or suicide awareness voices of education. He rented out a theater at Showplace Icon in St. Louis Park.

Participants will see the new Disney movie, Aladdin, learn about mental health and enjoy a performance from NBC Voice contestant, Ashley DuBose.

Burch said he had been planning for months to see the new Aladdin movie with his daughter.

“She loved Disney movies. This is a chance for friends and family to come together and watch a movie,” he said.

Dubose, who lives with depression and anxiety, said she hopes her music and story can help save lives.

“People tell me my music has changed their life,” she said. “I was like I don't want that label or that stain. It would be a crime for me not to admit this is what I am dealing with too. It is better to let somebody know and seek help rather than carrying it and you are at a place low point where you can't come back.”

And that is a message Burch hopes will help anyone suffering in silence.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death in the world for 15-24-year-olds. That is according to World Health Statistics Data. In 2016, the latest numbers for the CDC show 700 people died by suicide. Donations will be accepted at the door for those who wish to give above and beyond the ticket price.

Proceeds will be donated to SAVE to help with research and outreach efforts. There will be gift bags for all attendees. Doors open at 6 p.m. and tickets are on a first come first served basis.

For anyone looking to RSVP or donate please email: Aladdinwithfriends@Gmail.com

If you or a loved one are experiencing emotional distress or are in a situation of suicidal crisis call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline  1-800-273-8255. 

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