The seventh annual “Walk in Memory, Walk for Hope” will take place this weekend in many Nevada communities including Fallon.
According to spokeswoman Martha Framsted of the Division of Public and Behavioral Health, the event’s goal is to increase awareness of the devastating effects suicide has on the nation and state and to remember those who have been lost to suicide.
She said the event is sponsored by the Nevada Coalition for Suicide Prevention and supported by the Nevada Office of Suicide Prevention, and community partners across the state.
The Churchill Community Coalition is sponsoring its walk on Saturday beginning at the Maine Street fountain. The walk is from 10 a.m.-noon, and registration begins at 9:30 a.m.
A spokesperson from the coalition said the event is open to all community members and will include presentations by local office representatives, the sharing of key contact and support information and participation prizes. For information on the city of Fallon walk, contact the coalition office at 775-423-7433.
Naval Air Station Fallon will conduct its walk along with the coalition’s to bring awareness to the number of suicides the military has been encountering.
“The information center raises awareness for suicide information,” said Chris Esposito, marketing manager for community support programs at NAS Fallon.
She said the Fleet Family Support Center has information and programs to make sailors aware of their resources.
She said this is the first time naval air station is a partner with the state with a run and information booth to make people aware of depression and how to access help if they are feeling suicidal.
Misty Allen, suicide prevention coordinator at the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health’s Office of Suicide Prevention, said the Silver State ranks high in the number of suicides.
“Unfortunately, Nevada has the fourth highest rate of suicide in the nation,” Allen said. “We have greatly increased efforts in Nevada to educate people about what to look for and how to help if someone is struggling with thoughts of suicide. Events such as ‘Walk in Memory, Walk for Hope’ assist in this goal by bringing the Coalition, community members, and other partners together in raising awareness.”
The number of suicides in Churchill County between 2009-2012 also rose with 15 people taking their lives. According to statistics provided by the Churchill Coalition, 80 percent of the individuals committing suicide during the four years were males. Out of all deaths occurring in Churchill County, the coalition said suicides constituted 9 percent of that figure.
Even more alarming, the coalition also reports that 83 Churchill County High School students attempted suicide within the last year.
September 8-14 is National Suicide Prevention Week. The Nevada Coalition for Suicide Prevention, Office of Suicide Prevention and local organizations are asking the Silver State’s residents to supporting these efforts.
“Together we can reduce the number of lives shaken by a needless and tragic death,” Framsted said.