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Duo Cycles to Raise Suicide Awareness

Duo Cycles to Raise Suicide Awareness
According to Span-GA, suicide was the state's tenth leading cause of death in 2009 among people ages 10-24. And the death rate from suicide is higher in Georgia than the rate of homicide.  That's why a duo from Arizona is trekking across the country to spread awareness.
Zachary Chipps and Thomas Brown met each other at work and soon realized they had a painful loss in common.
"We both lost brothers to suicide." says Brown.
It's why they say they're traveling 7,000 miles across the country on their bikes to spread awareness and help people start talking about suicide.
"You're not alone, there are other people out there that have experienced the same trauma and through community you can get through it." says Brown.
Their journey started in San Francisco and, twenty-one states later, took them to Macon. Mayor Robert Reichert declared the month of August Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month.
Marla Farris works with at-risk youth in Macon and agrees suicide is an epidemic. She says we need to draw attention to it so we can prevent it.
"Suicide doesn't just affect the person that dies. It affects the whole family. I would dare say that you couldn't go to one of these events and not be affected and not feel healed in some way," says Farris.
Brown and Chipp want to spread their support for survivors of suicide around the country and in Macon. "It's a tough journey and you just have to have faith in the process, and you will discover your own process; it's different for everybody, there's no timeline and no two journeys are the same." explains Brown.
Farris says support groups like the one Brown and Chipp are running help the healing process. "It's a kind of comfort that you can't find anywhere else to know that someone has been there and knows how you feel." explains Farris.
"You really identify with people, not because you understand their experience because a guy that lost his wife is different than me who lost his older brother, but what we have in common are a lot of the same questions afterwards a lot of the same kinds of pain and confusion and how am I supposed to feel and what am I supposed to do?" says Chipp.
He says he'll keep his journey forever on his arm, where several different artists across the country have tattooed their interpretations of his trip on his sleeve.
The Middle Georgia Suicide Prevention Coalition invites all survivors of suicide to become a member. They meet on the third Wednesday of each month at noon at River Edge Behavioral Health Center in the Board Room.
The Survivors of Suicide group in Macon meets at 6pm every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month at Coliseum Center for Behavioral Health at 340 Hospital Drive. Anyone seeking more information can call 478-741-1355.
To learn more about Brown and Chipp's journey visit For 13WMAZ TV coverage