In the wake of one 24-hour period in August where three people died in Whitley County from apparent self-inflicted injuries, including two teenagers, the topic of suicide and more specifically suicide prevention has taken on new meaning for many people.
A pair of one-mile suicide and bullying prevention walks titled “Still I Rise are scheduled this month and aim to increase awareness about the two topics, which many times go hand in hand, especially for teenagers.
“September is national suicide awareness month. This is definitely an issue in our community we need addressed and not just put on a back burner,” noted Kathy Lay, one of the event organizers.
“It is actually a walk to raise awareness about suicide and bullying prevention. We want to prevent these things from happening. We want to promote the hotline for people, who actually do have these thoughts, to go get help.”
The first event will take place on Saturday, Sept. 22, at Bill Woods Park in Williamsburg. It will start at 9:30 a.m. with registration and an address by Cecelia White, emergency services director at Cumberland River Behavioral Health, which is the local community mental health center. The one-mile walk will start at 10 a.m.
The second event will take place at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29, at Corbin City Hall and will feature an address by Eric Perry, an administrator at Cumberland River Behavioral Health. The one-mile walk will follow at 10 a.m.
82nd Rep. Regina Huff will lead both walks.
At both events, there will be a table set up with ceramic tiles that those in attendance will be able to write on with inspirational quotes or messages or drawing about suicide or bullying prevention.
Lay said that after the two events, she plans to make a display out of the tiles, which will be shown at various places in the community.
“I am thinking we are going to have really big turnout for both of these events. This is something that everybody is dealing with, especially this month. I want to invite everybody and hope everybody comes. You will be getting out and moving and doing it for a good reason,” Lay added.
Cumberland River Behavioral Health (Comp Care) can be reached at (606) 549-1440 or (606) 528-7010.
Below are some links to resources you can seek if you or someone you care about needs help.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline –1-800-273-TALK (8255) or http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
- Zero Suicide in Healthcare and Behavioral Healthcare – www.zerosuicide.org.
- Suicide Prevention Resource Center – www.sprc.org.
- National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention – http://actionallianceforsuicideprevention.org.
- American Association of Suicidology – www.suicidology.org.
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention – www.afsp.org.
- National Council for Behavioral Health – http://www.thenationalcouncil.org.
- Crisis Text – text HOME to 741741.