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’Tyler’s Playground’ creates safe place to talk about mental health

MERRILL, Wis. (WSAW) –

One Merrill Mom is on a mission to end the stigma behind mental health and open the conversation to her community.

On December 29, 2017, Tammy Duwe lost her son to suicide. Since then Duwe and her family have has to not only deal with the loss of their son but the weight that mental health can hold on a person.

To help open the conversation about mental health to her community and help other families deal with these hardships before they happen, Duwe put together a natural playground off Merrill’s Riverbend trail.

Tyler’s Playground looks to give a safe place to talk about mental health, and remember Tyler and all those who have lost their lives to suicide.

“It might just help someone walking by, maybe they just need that reassurance that they are not alone in the community. Mental health has a lot of stigma behind it. If I can open up the conversation, you don’t know who could be affected by this in a positive way,” Duwe explained.

While it was first built in 2020, the Green Bay Packers foundations donated money to get the park started back in 2019.

As of now, the natural park offers a wooden teepee, a nice place to sit, and a cabinet full of personal goods for anyone who needs them.

In the future, Duwe hopes to continue to build on the playground and add more amenities for families to enjoy.

For now, she just hopes to honor her son, and give people a much-needed outlet.

“You always want the best for your kid right. And even though Tyler isn’t alive anymore, I still want the best for his memory. So if there is anything I can do to make his memory live on. That’s what I have to do,” Duwe said.

To get involved with Tyler’s Playground visit their website here.

Suicide remains the 10th largest killer in the nation. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If you or someone you know is struggling visit https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org, or call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Copyright 2021 WSAW. All rights reserved.

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