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NORTH BEND — Coos County has the fourth highest suicide rate in the State of Oregon (one person every three weeks). Families are out on the streets. Drug use is on the rise. Gen Z and Gen Y are the most depressed generations in recorded history. People have become discouraged and hopeless.

This year Afternoons of Encouragement invited Ben Courson from Hope Generation in Grants Pass to come speak a message of encouragement on hope 4-6 p.m. Sunday, June 2, at the Vic Adams Field located at North Bend High School, 2323 Pacific Ave. in North Bend. The inspirational speaker's new book "Opti-Mis-Fits" was released March 9.

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Courson has spoken around the world from Oregon to Africa, reaching out to tens of thousands of people. Always encouraging and inspiring people from every walk of life to never give up, because he believes that "if you've got a pulse ... you've got a purpose."

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