According to DoSomething.org, 1 person commits suicide every 16.2 minutes, making it the third leading cause of death for ages 15-24. “Suicide is a major public health issue and is ranked as the tenth leading cause of death in America,” Chair of the Delaware Suicide Prevention Coalition, Max Lencl said. It is for these reasons that the Delaware Suicide Prevention Coalition will be coming together with people in the community for the fourth annual Suicide Prevention Walk on September 6, at Bicentennial Park. Registration begins at 9:30am and the walk starts at 10.
“The goals of the walk are to raise awareness on the issue of suicide as well as offer healing to those who have lost someone,” Lencl said, “We hope to increase awareness that suicide is preventable and there are a variety of services available in the community, including Helpline’s 24/7 crisis hotline.”
This year’s walk includes a one-mile walk through historic Delaware. Activities to inspire hope will be available before the walk. There will also be a stop by the Helpline garden where “participants can leave ‘Hope Stones’ that they created earlier at the park,” Lencl said. Posters are also encouraged along with donations to HelpLine of Delaware and Morrow County. “At the end, we will all gather and have a few moments to share anything that comes to mind and then release three dozen beautiful butterflies together,” Lencl said.
All community members are invited and encouraged to participate in this event, despite their closeness with suicide. “People come who have lost a loved one to suicide and are looking for a way to meet others,” Lencl said, “some come because they are a caregiver and believe this is a great cause. During the walk, there is a sense of togetherness and a feeling of making a difference.”
Suicide is growing rapidly among young adults and teens, and “the best way to make an impact is know the signs, don’t be afraid to talk about suicide, and seek help if you or someone you know is struggling,” Lencl said, “this event is important because it inspires hope that despite the tragedy of suicide that still exists, there is important, visible work being done nearby.’
This event is sure to inspire the hearts of every participant, so don’t miss out on your chance to be a part of it. Also, take some time to explore the efforts of the Suicide Prevention program. “We hold tables at events to raise awareness, collaborate on related mental health events through other partner agencies, and offer Survivor of Suicide Advocacy – an individualized support program at no cost,” Lencl said.