The suicide problem in the U.S. is close to the heart of G.R. Hamm and he was doing his part Saturday at the Shawnee Family Health Center’s 5K Run at Tracy Park in Portsmouth.
“I am an attorney and did serve some time as a guardian ad litem,” Hamm, chairman of the Community Partners of Shawnee Family Health, said. “Unfortunately I had one of the children I had worked with commit suicide, so this means a lot to me.”
The weather could not have been better for a run. The skies were clear, temperatures in the low 70s and an air of enthusiasm hovered over the park.
“We are hear to support Suicide Prevention Awareness that we are having a 5K for, and we are happy to do that,” Hamm said. “It is certainly what we hope to accomplish with mental health issues as well.”
Janie Haas of Shawnee Family Health Center was running around checking on the various stations at the park and slowed down long enough to talk about what she wanted to take away from the event.
“We would like to make the community aware of the problem with suicide in our area,” Haas said. “We would like to bring funding to help to make people aware and prevent and help anybody who needs help and let them know that there is help for them.”
Haas said education is the key to dealing with the problem.
“We have all kinds of literature and brochures to pass out,” Haas said. ‘We are starting a suicide coalition here in Scioto County. So if anyone is interested in joining that, they can call Shawnee Family Health Center and we’ll get you hooked up with that too.”
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.