MOUNT VERNON — The week of Sept. 9 through Sept. 15 is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Week. To bring about awareness locally, the Knox County Suicide Prevention Coalition is facilitating its Second Annual 5K Walk/Run on Saturday, Sept. 15, 9 a.m., at the Kokosing Gap Gambier Station, Kenyon College Campus, Gambier.
A vigil will be held Thursday, Sept. 13, at 5:30 p.m., on the Mount Vernon Square for Survivors of Suicide. A “survivor” is someone who has lost a loved one to a death by suicide. While we all grieve naturally for anyone we have lost to death, suicide is different. Losing someone we love to suicide brings on a uniquely different set of emotions and painful feelings such as guilt and/or anger. The survivor is often impacted by the stigma that society attaches to suicide — the suicide survivor may encounter blame, judgment, or even exclusion. The vigil ceremony will start at 6 p.m. Members of the KCSPC will be on the Mount Vernon Square from 4 p.m., preceding the vigil to answer questions or provide educational resources.
The American Association of Suicidology says “Suicide prevention is everyone’s business and anyone can participate in National Suicide Prevention Week.” The KCSPC has made suicide prevention its business and challenge. Its mission is to protect and promote the health of our community through education and awareness of the risk of suicide and available community resources. Its vision is that Knox County will be a caring community where all people can openly disclose, talk about and receive help for suicidal thinking and its impact on everyone. The coalition is composed of representatives from both Knox and Licking County health and public service organizations, including the Mount Vernon Fire Department, Mount Vernon Police Department and the Knox County Sheriff’s Office.
Suicide is everybody’s business and the public can help by participating in both of these events. Both walkers and runners are encouraged to participate on Sept. 15. Walkers with children in strollers or with dogs on a leash are also welcome to participate. The run is a timed event. Prizes will be awarded to runners who place first, second, or third. An entry fee discount will be given to those who preregister before today. Registrations will be taken up until 8:45 a.m. the day of the event. The first 100 registered will get free T-shirts. Call Kathy Wantland at Hospice of Knox County (397-5188), or Dodie Melvin at NAMI Knox/Licking County (397-3088) to register or for more information. Forms may be received via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or picked up at Hospice or at NAMI KLC, 15 E. Vine St., Mount Vernon.
Published on September 10, 2012