Walk for suicide prevention set for Sept. 16

A walk to raise awareness of suicide, along with training sessions to help community residents avert suicides, are part of Huntington County’s observation of September as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

The Huntington County Commissioners have proclaimed the week of Sept. 11 as Suicide Prevention Week in Huntington County.

The seventh annual Walk for Hope will be held on Saturday, Sept. 16. Registration begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Huntington North High School fieldhouse, with the walk beginning at 7 p.m.

Last year’s walk drew more than 150 participants, and Youth Services Bureau Executive Director Jan Williams says many of them walked in remembrance of loved ones lost to suicide. The walk can also be a fund-raiser for youth suicide prevention activities in Huntington.

Suicide prevention training sessions will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 13, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 23, from 10 a.m. to noon at the YSB office, 1344 Maple Drive, Huntington.

The QPR training includes information about warning signs, risk factors and appropriate actions to take with someone contemplating suicide. It is free and open to the community.

Williams says suicide is the second leading cause of death among teenagers in the United States, with one in five contemplating suicide and one in nine attempting suicide.

Last year, the Community Suicide Prevention Protocol was activated for 46 Huntington County youth, says Danielle Snyder, Safe Place coordinator. Those youth were identified as being at risk of suicide and an immediate response was initiated.

The walk and the training sessions are coordinated by the Youth Services Bureau of Huntington County and the Teen Suicide Prevention Task Force.

For more information, contact YSB at 356-9681 or visit www.ysbofhuntingtonco.org.