HelpLine and the Delaware County Suicide Prevention Coalition will inspire hope, awareness and change on a community-wide level at the Ninth Annual Suicide Prevention Walk, on Saturday, September 7, 9 AM to noon, at Ohio Wesleyan University’s (OWU) Hamilton Williams Campus Center (Benes Room), 40 W. Rowland Ave., in Delaware. This rain or shine event is free and open to the public.
This year’s event will feature a 1.5 mile walk through historic downtown Delaware, Ohio. Local agencies and groups that support suicide prevention efforts throughout Delaware County will be on hand to share resources and services. Family-friendly activities that will be featured include seed planting, social media stations and the Peyton Heart Project.
The walk accentuates a larger observance of National Suicide Awareness Month in September. Affirming the theme,Inspire Action and Change Lives, HelpLine, will co-host a community-wide event and observe a national day of prevention to encourage awareness and action:
HelpLine Suicide Prevention Program Manager and walk event coordinator Sarah Lee Jefferson aid that the goal of the walk is to offer a safe environment for people on any area of the spectrum of suicide and suicide prevention.
“We are here to support survivors of suicide, those who have attempted and survived, anyone truggling with thoughts of suicide, those who care about someone who struggles with suicide,” aid Jefferson. “We want to reduce the stigma around suicide and this walk is one of many ways e’re bringing this public health crisis to the forefront.”
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), suicide is the 10th leading ause of death in the U.S., claiming the lives of 129 Americans each day. In 2018, Delaware County lost 19 community members to suicide – a 32 percent decrease from the previous year. It’s stimated for each suicide there are 25 attempts. This means that nearly 475 Delaware County residents attempted suicide last year.
There’s a prevalent myth that if you ask someone about being suicidal that you increase the risk, r make the situation worse by triggering the act,” Jefferson said. “Evidence suggests that this just isn’t the case, as offering support and listening is more likely to reduce distress as opposed to ausing a tragedy.”
Jefferson said that people are often reluctant to intervene, for many reasons, including a fear of ot knowing what to say. It’s important to remember, there is no specific formula. Empathy, ompassion, genuine concern, knowledge of resources and a desire to help are key to preventing a uicide. Some of the action steps you can take to save a life include: ‘
. Learn the warning signs: hopelessness, uncontrolled anger, seeking revenge, acting reckless, ncreased alcohol or drug use, withdrawing from friends, family & society and dramatic mood hanges.
. Take a HelpLine Gatekeeper Suicide Prevention Training and learn QPR Question.Persuade.Refer)
. Practice self-care
. Reach out and check on your friends, family
. Spread the word
“Suicide is preventable,” said Jefferson. “Prevention means educating yourself, asking questions nd getting someone the help and support they need – we can all save lives.”
Special thanks to our walk sponsors the Delaware Morrow Mental Health Recovery Services oard, SourcePoint, Amber Herbster of Larry Coolidge Realtors and the Delaware Gazette. To register for the walk, visit: https://helplinedelmor.org/walk/. If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, thoughts of self-harm or suicidal ideation, contact our free, confidential 24-hour support information, line at 1.800.684.2324 or text helpline to 898211.