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Ribbon ceremony in honor of Aaron Husmann raises mental health awareness

Eden Prairie family raises mental health awareness in honor of late son
Eden Prairie family raises mental health awareness in honor of late son 02:48

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — An Eden Prairie family is keeping their son's legacy alive, one year after his sudden death. 

Sunday afternoon, family, friends, and community members gathered for a ribbon ceremony. They handed out green ribbons and encouraged people to display them in neighborhoods across the city to raise mental health awareness. They also gave out bracelets with the number 988, the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. 

"Your mental health means a lot and you mean a lot. So use these as a reminder," Jamey Husmann told the crowd. 

The ribbons honor Aaron Husmann, who died by suicide in April 2023 when he was a senior at Eden Prairie High School. 

"He was inspiring to me, I really did look up to him. He made me a better person, and it just makes me so happy that many people acknowledge him and everything he did," Aaron's friend Adam Szendre said.

Since his passing, the Husmann's have been raising mental health awareness. 

Aaron Husmann WCCO

"As you guys wind down the school year and things get hectic don't sweat it, just talk to your friends, talk to your parents and chat or text 988," Aaron's mother Thuy Husmann said.

Brenda Wood, who lost her sister almost eight years ago, hopes Aaron's passing inspires others to ask for help.

"Talk to somebody. It's okay to talk about it, and the more that we talk about it, the goal is that kids will feel comfortable talking about it so they don't internalize that," she said.

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They're encouraging people to snap a photo of bracelets or ribbons around the community and post the photo with #ribbons4aaron, that way they can track their impact on the community. 

"I'll definitely try to put some ribbons around the city. Some bridges where people can pass by in their card and see the ribbons, it will be nice," Szendre said.

Aaron's legacy will also live on through a new scholarship thanks to a donation by Scheels. It will be awarded to Eden Prairie seniors impacted by mental health. 

"We find it hard to believe that Aaron couldn't see that the world was a better place with him. If he saw all the people here to honor him I think he would be amazed. And I believe he does see us. You know every person matters, every life matters," Jamey Husmann said. 

This week, the Eden Prairie High School PTO and the Minnesota Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness will be hosting a workshop for parents. The focus is on early warning signs of mental illness. It's being held at Central Middle School this Thursday at 7 p.m. 

If you or someone you know is struggling, help is available 24/7. Call or text 988, the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

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