On average, one person dies by suicide every 12 hours in the state of Kentucky. It is the second leading cause of death in Kentucky for young people ages 15-34. Across the United States, the average is 123 suicides PER DAY. It is staggering to know that for every suicide, 25 more individuals will attempt it. Suicide is preventable, and the depression that leads to suicide is treatable. However, the stigma and secrecy around suicide, as well as mental illness, makes it a challenge to help those most in need.
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), people overwhelmingly want to help those who are struggling. They report that 93% of people would do something to help if someone close to them was thinking about suicide. Awareness is key, and that’s why the Southern Kentucky Survivors of Suicide and AFSP host an Out of the Darkness Community Walk each year. Bowling Green’s 7th Annual Out of the Darkness Community Walk will be held this year on October 20, at 10 a.m., at Ephram White Park. The Survivors’ group, along with AFSP, believes these walks help raise awareness locally, throughout the state, and across the country.
“There is no single cause of suicide,” according to AFSP. “It most often occurs when stressors and health issues converge to create an experience of hopelessness and despair. Depression is the most common condition associated with suicide, and it is often undiagnosed or untreated.”
Step out of the darkness and away from the shame. Walk with others who share the pain of losing someone.
Individuals and teams are invited to raise money and participate in the walk, building and uniting a local community of survivors. Money raised through this event help right here in Southern Kentucky. Volunteers lead survivor support groups and distribute materials to health care facilities and schools. Goals this year include increased collaboration with organizations that serve at-risk populations such as veterans, children, and young adults. The AFSP has special training toolkits for educators and private screening computer programs that could be used in the middle and high schools around Bowling Green.
“The only way that the stigma surrounding suicide and mental disorders can ever be broken down is with a united voice saying it’s okay to get help.” – AFSP
For more information, visit www.afsp.org. There you will find information on suicide, what to do if someone is suffering, ways AFSP is making a difference, and how you can help. You can also sign up for our local community walk.
We are also on Facebook under Bowling Green, Kentucky Suicide Prevention. There you can catch up on local, up-to-date volunteer opportunities in our community, learn what we are doing with monies raised through our local walk, and you can sign up for the walk right from the page and invite friends.
Bowling Green Area 7th Annual Walk to Prevent Suicide
- October 20, 2018
- Ephram White Park
- Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and the walk starts at 10 a.m.
- We invite you to bring a framed photograph of your loved one. We also encourage team shirts.
- If you raise $150 or more, you will receive a t-shirt and other prizes depending on the amount of money raised!
- Pets are welcome but must be leashed.
- Music by Ernie Small. Food will be available at the walk!
This event would not be possible without our sponsors. We would like to thank RIVENDELL BEHAVIORAL HEALTH HOSPITAL, our Platinum, Title Sponsor. Many thanks also to LIFESKILLS and FARMERS NATIONAL BANK, both Gold Sponsors. We are forever grateful for their commitment to end suicide in our community.