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Manistee Suicide Prevention Walk 2019

Suicide Prevention and Awareness Walk 2019

On September 17th, 2019 the Manistee County Suicide Awareness and Prevention Coalition held their annual suicide prevention and awareness walk downtown Manistee. The LRBOI Be Da Bin Behavioral Health and Centra Wellness along with various community members in our coalition began planning for the annual walk as early as April.  We began with looking at how to involve the area youth, gathering donations, applying for permits and securing a location.  Over the last couple of years, the number of participants has grown along with community support from area schools and businesses. This year’s walk was attended by over 55 participants who walked, some carrying pictures of loved ones lost to suicide, others carried signs of support and encouragement for those struggling and feeling hopeless.

 As co-chair of the coalition I have seen our efforts to prevent suicide grow, I have seen firsthand community members coming forward to attend trainings identifying the signs of suicide and ways to help bring hope to others who have lost hope. There are many people in our community who have been affected by suicide and are seeking support from one another. They have expressed the need to be able to talk about suicide, its effects on survivors and the need to educate our community on ways to help and reduce the stigma attached to suicide. Our coalition is determined to help by bringing free or inexpensive trainings to the community, sponsoring a suicide awareness and prevention walk, fighting to remove the stigma, and to educate people on the prevention of suicide.  It has been a slow process, we started with a coalition of two or three members, but we didn’t give up. Today we do see change happening in our community and we will continue our efforts to prevent suicide.

Thank you to anyone who attended the walk or supported the coalition in any way.  If you would like to join the Manistee County Suicide Awareness and Prevention Coalition meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month at noon in the LRBOI Government Center on US 1 across from the casino. If you are unable to attend the meetings, there are many other ways to help. Please contact Jan Chandler at 231-882-2139 or Dottie Batchelder at 231-723-8299 ext. 6741