This week is National Suicide Prevention Week in the United States. Annually September 8-14 is set aside for mental health advocates, prevention organizations, survivors, allies, and community members to unite and promote suicide prevention awareness.
Locally, the 5th Annual Shine a Light on Suicide Awareness walk is scheduled to take place this Saturday. Hosted by Shawnee Mental Health, the event will take place from 9:30 am to 11:30 am at Tracy Park. The event raises money for the Suicide Coalition, with 100 percent of the funds raised going towards suicide prevention, awareness and education. The event is designed to raise awareness about suicide in our community, support those that have lost loved ones to suicide and provide resources to people that need help coping. According to a study from Ohio University, Appalachian Ohio is home to nine of Ohio’s 10 counties with the highest suicide rates (per 100,000) from 2018-2017.
Registration for the walk begins at 8:30 a.m. and the walk itself begins at 10:00 a.m. The walk will start and finish at Tracy Park, rain or shine.
According to Shawnee Mental Health, last year’s proceeds were used to start a Scholarship at The Scioto Foundation and a portion was used to sponsor Challenge day at Portsmouth High School, in collaboration with The Scioto Foundation, The Suicide Prevention Coalition and the Mault Family.
In addition to a 5k Run/walk, there will be several community agencies providing information and resources, a $1000.00 gift card raffle, and the Mothman band will be performing in the park and Nick Erlenwein will be playing acoustics at “the point” along the walk course. Speakers are planned to provide brief presentations at 9:30 a.m. Again this year, the Reverend Steve Cuff will lead the event in prayer followed by singing of the National Anthem by Juliana Parlin. Speaker’s scheduled for the event include Cassidy Bianco, Jonathan Thacker and Amare Johnson.
Reach: Ivy Potte (740) 353-3101 Extension 1932