Amy Roby, The Record Courier
September 7, 2017
September is National Suicide Awareness Prevention Month. The Suicide Prevention Network (SPN), in partnership with the Coalition for Suicide Prevention and the Nevada Office of Suicide Prevention, hosts the 11th annual "Walk in Memory, Walk for Hope/Ride in Memory, Ride for Hope" on Saturday at Heritage Park in Gardnerville.
SPN reports that approximately 31,000 Americans die by suicide every year. Nevada ranks fifth in the nation for suicides, and Douglas County has one of the highest suicide rates within the state.
The Carson Valley walk is one of 15 planned across Nevada. Last-minute registrations are being accepted online via PayPal at http://www.spnawareness.org or in person Saturday starting at 8 a.m. Participants are each asked to donate $20. Proceeds from the walk help ensure that individuals struggling with suicidal thoughts (and those doing their best to support them) can be connected with services and resources that can make a difference.
Those who have lost a loved one to suicide can donate $12 toward a "memory sign" that will post the loved one's name. Memory signs will be on display at the walk.
Registration includes a complementary continental breakfast. The opening ceremony gets underway at 9 a.m. and the walk/ride begins at 9:30. Following the event, there will be a barbecue lunch at the park for $7 per person.
The non-profit SPN provides "help, hope, comfort, understanding, and support in a confidential environment, free of charge." They host two support groups: Survivors of Suicide Loss meets the first Thursday of every month from 6-7 p.m., and Living Out Loud (teen advisory group) meets the first and third Wednesdays of each month from 2:20-3:30 p.m. Meetings are held at the SPN Office, 1625 Hwy 88, Suite 203, in Minden.
The SPN website contains information about the warning signs of suicide and how and where to seek help. For information, log on to http://www.spnawareness.org or call them at 775-783-1510.
The number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. The lifeline, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, is free and confidential.