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Waupaca officer speaks out about losing brother by suicide

Waupaca  Co. Suicide Prevention Coalition Event Monday, September, 17, 2018. (WLUK/Pafoua Yang){ }
Waupaca Co. Suicide Prevention Coalition Event Monday, September, 17, 2018. (WLUK/Pafoua Yang)
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WAUPACA, Wis. (WLUK) -- Photos from Officer Wesley Zube's wedding sit around his office. One photo was of his best man and brother, Calvin.

"You look at the pictures that are all over my office, my brother, on the wedding day, dancing and having the time of his life," said Zube.

But what followed just days after Zube's wedding left him in shock: Calvin took his own life.

"You wouldn’t see it coming, there’s no way," said Zube.

Zube's wife and higher-ups pushed him to see a counselor to deal with the pain.

“At first I was hesitant and standoff-ish about it. I thought they were accusing me of trying to hurt myself when really they just wanted me to get help.”

Counseling helped Zube realize he needed to help others. Zube has been sharing his story to help those in law enforcement but on Monday, he shared his story to the public for the first time.

It’s part of the fall talk that the Waupaca County Suicide Prevention Coalition puts on every year.

“We also know suicide is the second-leading cause of death for youth in Wisconsin," said Ann Jadin, the Waupaca Co. coordinator for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

Jadin said signs of suicide include isolation, giving away personal possessions and losing interest in hobbies.

“The suicide rates with our youth are higher than the national statistics, why is that in Wisconsin? We don’t know," said Jadin.

The coalition says more than 730 Wisconsinites die every year from suicide. Veterans are also vastly represented in the national statistic.

"According to the VA some 20 to 22 veterans die by suicide," said Jesse Cuff, the Waupaca Co. Veterans Service Officer.

Experts say many suicides are driven by impulsivity, but having someone to talk to can make all the difference.

“It’s okay to get help and it’s okay not to be okay," said Cuff.

FOX 11 is teaming up with experts in the field to reduce the number of suicides in Northeast Wisconsin.

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If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health issues, FOX 11 has a number of resources just click here.

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