August 2022 News!

Greetings to all of you as we find ourselves enjoying the last days of summer.

Somehow, we are firmly in August, the long, bright days piling up behind us. It can be a bit melancholy and bittersweet to look towards the next season when we feel conflicted about what we leave behind. What we have learned about our grief is a little like watching summer slip into fall; it can be hard to embrace the ambiguity of the future while feeling so deeply rooted to the past. But, love pushes forward and purpose looms on the horizon like a bright beacon. Enjoy every sunset because what comes next is also beautiful—the sunrise.

“Every sunset brings the promise of a new dawn.”

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

In sunshine and the shadows, always.

Reyne & Scott Roeder


Suicide Prevention Conference

For Rural Faith Leaders

This free event brings together rural faith leaders to discuss, learn, and share suicide prevention information and resources. Conference speakers include Deacon Ed Shoener, President of the Association of Catholic Mental Health Ministers, Scott Roeder, Founder of Jackson Roeder Memorial Fund, Dr. Dan Reidenberg Psy D., Executive Director of Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE), and Ann Ellison, Director Interfaith Health at M Health Fairview.

The conference includes two panel discussions focused on helping faith communities position themselves to be communities of hope, healing, and support. Lunch is included.

Conference Objectives:

  • Increase rural faith leaders’ understanding about suicide and how they can play a role in suicide prevention.

  • Provide high quality information and resources that will help their communities prevent suicide.

  • Help faith leaders to provide care and support to those affected by suicide to promote healing and help prevent further suicides.

Who Should Attend?

Rural clergy, spiritual and faith leaders, including chaplains, elders, deacons, sisters, youth pastors, parish nurses, church board members, church staff, and congregational suicide prevention advocates.

Event Details:

September 27, 2022, 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. at Evangelical Free Church Bemidji, MN

September 29, 2022, 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. at Mankato Event Center Mankato, MN

Registration—Free, but Required:

Bemidji & Mankato

#LivingOurStory—the t-shirts from the AFSP Conference.

Suicide Loss Summit

For Long-Term Survivors

In July, we attended our first AFSP Conference in Cleveland—an event tailored specifically to long-term loss survivors who have found healthy ways to integrate the experience of losing a loved one to suicide into their lives. The conference showcased workshops, expert-led discussions, and interactive activities exploring how grief evolves over time.

Over 200 people attended, the majority of whom are five or more years beyond the date of their loved one’s suicide. For our family, we are also within that same window of time. Together, we shared our grief and experiences in healing and coping. We have engaged in support groups, counseling, faith, other coping strategies and continue to learn ways to increase awareness of suicide prevention, support, connect with other long-term loss survivors, and find ways to further celebrate and honor loved ones who bind us all together as a healing collective.

A highlight of the conference was the presentation by Zak Williams, founder and CEO of PYM, Prepare Your Mind, an anxiety relief company. Zak is also the son of actor Robin Williams who died by suicide in 2014. As a mental health advocate, Zak focuses his time and effort on sharing his story and sharing his experiences to support initiatives and campaigns seeking to remove the stigma and address the challenges associated with mental health topics.


Meet Mike Bray

And His Saddles of Inspiration

Last month we shared Summertime by George’s vendor, The Central Minnesota Suicide Prevention Coalition. We also highlighted the incredible work of Mike Bray, leatherman, and owner of Bray Leather Studio in Monticello. Mike and his commemorative saddles, some of which are themed around the impact of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and suicide in the veteran community, will be back at Summertime by George on Wednesday, August 24th.

Please consider stopping by to meet Mike and support his incredible messages!


Helping Parents Heal

Helping Parents Heal is a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting bereaved parents. Through support and resources offered, we aspire to help individuals become “Shining Light Parents”—meaning a shift from a state of emotional heaviness to one of hopefulness and greater peace of mind. HPH goes a step beyond other groups by allowing the open discussion of spiritual experiences and afterlife evidence—in a non-dogmatic way. HPH affiliate groups welcome everyone regardless of religious or non-religious background and encourage open dialog.

From its website: We understand and we walk the same path. We are grateful that you have found us. This group is for parents who would like to connect with others who have experienced the passing of a child. Siblings are also welcome to join. Our discussions are meant to be uplifting.

Please know that we are a 100% volunteer organization and that we are all simply bereaved parents like all of you. We are all in this together, and we are here to remember our incredible children and to talk about the wonderful signs and validations that they send. Our common goal is to celebrate the lives of our children and to ultimately heal as a group. Sending love to all of you and your beautiful children.

Resources & Can't-Miss:

Jackson’s Traveling Installment
In August, see Jackson’s art at the St. Cloud Hospital near the chapel and at CentraCare Plaza the month of September—enter through Woodlands entrance.

Walk to Fight Suicide
Out of the Darkness Walk in St. Cloud at Lake George on Saturday, 10/2/22 at 10am. Sponsored in part by the AFSP and Jackson Roeder Memorial Fund.

Stand Up to Stigma
Event from The Beautiful Mind Project of St. Cloud combining an evening of entertaining and socializing with the impact and goodwill of fundraising for mental health resources and support in our community. Thursday, October 6th at 7pm. Tickets here.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Dial 988 or text “MN” to 741-741

Continue to stay up-to-date by following the Jackson Roeder Memorial Fund Facebook page where we will share information and events with the community on mental health and suicide prevention.