Suicide awareness, remembrance goals of upcoming walk
With an effort to raise awareness, remember the loss and prevent further suicide, the Washington County Behavioral Health Board will host a community walk April 13 beginning and ending in Indian Acres Park.
That structure is a major shift for those in recovery.
“This is our second year running this walk independently and calling it ‘A Walk to Remember,’” explained Miriam Keith, recovery and prevention advocate with the board. “It’s part of our commitment to serving survivors of suicide loss.”
The walk will begin at the boat ramp in Indian Acres Park and the turnaround point for the route is the Washington Street Bridge.
Making the walk independent, she explained, allows the donated funds to stay local–paying for materials and programming the board puts out for suicide prevention.
“I’ve heard many touching stories from students who haven’t known what to say to a friend but had our cards to walk them through and help talk someone in a crisis down,” she said.
The pain of surviving suicide is personal for Keith, who lost a son-in-law in 2013 to suicide.
“I absolutely know that if there’s a God, then Josh is with him,” she said. “At our walk, we hold this bead ceremony where you can recognize your relationship to someone who has taken their life, whether that’s a spouse, a child, a friend, etc. And each group will have one story read to remember that relationship and loss.”
Bead colors represent:
• White: Lost a child.
• Red: Lost a spouse or partner.
• Gold: Lost a parent.
• Orange: Lost a sibling.
• Purple: Lost a relative or friend.
• Silver: Lost first responder/military.
• Green: Struggled personally.
• Blue: Support the cause.
• Teal: Friends and family of someone who struggles.
Then with chalk in hand, participants can walk alone or in groups, writing along the River Trail the names of those lost.View Full Article