(Havre) – On Thursday, September 14th the Hill County Suicide Awareness Coalition will have their 9th Annual Suicide Prevention Walk at 6:30pm. Amber Spring a counselor for Montana state university and member of the Hill County Suicide Awareness Coalition talks about the event.
So, this will be our 9th year that our Hill County Suicide Awareness Coalition has planned the walk here on the MSU Northern campus. usually, we start gathering around 6:30 at the clock tower behind Cowan Hall and for those who are new to our event the first thing we do is have people sign in and we offer honor beads and then we will have a speaker and then we always give an opportunity for our attendees if they would like to share how suicide has impacted their life. After the speakers have finished then we just do a walk around the campus, and then we just wrap up here on campus.
She goes on to talk about how it started.
“Well I think as many people know the state of Montana has been consistently in the top 5 for suicide rates in the country as long as they’ve tracked that data. A lot of communities call this an ‘Out of Darkness Walk’, so to take the topic of suicide out of darkness and really bring it into the light. Talk about it, acknowledge it, give people an opportunity to share stories of loved ones or share their own story can be really healing for people. And so you know we’ve made sure that we make it an annual event so people cna count of this opportunity to come together. And i think the other thing is it really signifies that there a lot of people in our community who are advocates for mental health and we really want mental health to be just like physical health.”
She finishes by talking about the classes she hosts to help prevent suicide.
“In association with our walk I usually schedule a QPR which is a suicide prevention workshop where we really learn about what are the signs symptoms what are the risk factors. Just to give people that education so that they feel more equipped to reach out to somebody who they think might be struggling. And then throughout the year we have opportunities to bring other kind of mental health or suicide prevention programs or activities to the community that we are able to support those too.”