Suicide Prevention walk to be held


R-H Staff



EATON — The annual Walk to Remember, Walk for Hope Suicide Prevention Walk will be held on Saturday, Sept. 14, from 6-8 p.m. at Seven Mile Park in Eaton. Pre-registration is $20 and registration at event is $25. Luminaries can also be purchased for $5.

All monies raised fund the Preble County Suicide Coalition.

The Preble County Mental Health & Recovery Board (MHRB) is committed to bringing awareness to the community about depression and suicide. Through partnerships with the PC Suicide Coalition, outreach in all five Preble county school districts, and their annual Walk to Remember, Walk for Hope it is a priority for MHRB to inform the community about the signs, risks and behaviors for those at risk as well as providing prevention education and local help.

The Suicide Prevention Walk began when Terri Hundley-Widen, then a National Trail senior, developed her senior project into Walk to Remember, Walk for Hope when she lost a family member to suicide.

Hundley-Widen stated, “Losing a loved one to suicide is such a profound loss, which can also bring a feeling of alienation. At the time, the walk was a way for me to do something; to take my family’s hardship and turn it into something to help prevent it from happening to another family. Not only is it a fundraiser for the school program, but it is a way for those of us who have suffered this great loss to come together to support one another. I strive for a world where suicide no longer exists, and mental health has no stigma. Never give up hope.”

Every day, over 100 Americans die due to suicide, which is why the Preble County Mental Health & Recovery Board is expanding their suicide prevention programs. While the tremendous emotional toll and suffering on the families and friends of suicide victims can hardly be weighed, there is a financial cost as well. The CDC estimates the average cost of one suicide in the US at $1.3 million, proving a devastating loss for the community both emotionally and financially.

Research suggests a highly favorable benefit-cost ratio of six to one prevention with medical, counseling, and linkage services for patients. In addition to the programs already in place, new programs and services are being offered in the schools and county. MHRB crisis intervention services are provided by licensed counselors and social workers.

These services are utilized when a crisis puts someone at imminent risk. MHRB services strive to help those who are most vulnerable remain safe, which in turn allows for a healthier community. A new program in Preble County schools is the creation of Hope Squads which are students trained to watch for at-risk students. These Squads, represented by all five Preble County schools, held a fundraiser in May called the HOPE Fair, which financially supports their efforts without using taxpayer dollars.

The ninth annual Walk to Remember, Walk for Hope Suicide Prevention Walk will be held at Seven Mile Park, across from Vancrest, Saturday, Sept. 14 from 6-8 p.m. This is an event for the whole family. Remembrance luminaries and Flying Wish Paper will be available. Register for the walk at http://www.pcmhrb.org/suicide-awareness.html, find the event on Facebook, or contact MHRB at 937-456-6827.

Pre-registration is $20 and registration at the event is $25. Registration at the event begins at 5:30 p.m. All monies raised fund the PC Suicide Coalition. The Walk is dedicated to those lost in our community and to raise awareness about depression and suicide.

If you or someone you know may be suffering, please contact the local crisis helpline 24/7 at 866-532-3097 or the national helpline at 800-662-HELP (4357).

R-H Staff