‘Shine Your Light’ walk to focus on suicide prevention


By Portia Williams

[email protected]

Shawnee Family Health Center will be holding ‘Shine Your Light,’ non-competitive 5K run/walk on Saturday, Sept. 26, at Tracy Park. Registration is at 8 a.m. and the walk begins at 9 a.m. The purpose of the event is to spread awareness of suicide as a community problem and

Janie Haas, the event organizer, said they have received an incredible amount of community support for the Shine Your Light 5k.

“This is truly a community event,” she said. “Many social service organizations have committed to setting up tables at Tracy Park and distributing information to the community and we have received calls from people who want to volunteer to help,” Haas said. “Many area restaurants have helped us publicize the event by displaying information on their table tops. People that have lost someone to suicide will have the opportunity to honor them with memory lapel stickers at the event.”

Various organizations from the Portsmouth community will also be present to provide information to 5K participants and anyone who so desires.

Shawnee and the Alcohol Drug Addiction Mental Health Services Board (ADAMHS) are sponsoring a suicide prevention video contest for middle and high school students. The student(s) with the winning video will receive a cash award and we hope to announce the winner at the event on the Sept. 26.

“We held focus groups with teens from the Portsmouth area to find out what would be a good way to get our youth involved in delivering positive messages about suicide prevention to their peers,” she said. “A lot of the young people felt that doing a skit or something similar would be a good idea so we came up with this contest. We will air the winning video on our Facebook page after the winner is announced. “

Teens interested in participating in this video contest, more information can be found on Shawnee Family Health Center’s Facebook page.”

The event will also include free hot dogs, a raffle, music provided by a local DJ and some area speakers. Anyone wanting to walk but who has not yet registered can register the day of the event.

In an effort to combat the problem of suicide, information designed to enhance community’s awareness of suicide will be found along the route of the walk/run.

Those who register before the event will be guaranteed a ‘Shine a Light’ t-shirt; a small supply of shirts will be available at the event for those who register the day of the event or who want to purchase a shirt.

Shawnee Family Health Center Facebook page or contact Janie Haas at 740-354-7702.

Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.

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