Suicide prevention starts with walk in the park

By Beanie Taylor - beanietaylor@elkintribune.com
Organizers lead the walk during the You Can’t Be Replaced Suicide Awareness Walk in 2017. - Beanie Taylor | The Tribune

Suicide Prevention Month will open with an awareness walk aimed toward assisting local youth as well as recognizing those who have been lost to suicide.

The second annual You Can’t Be Replaced Suicide Awareness Walk will take place Saturday at Elkin Municipal Park from 9 a.m. to noon featuring a Memorial Lap, anxiety and depression assessment and information sharing.

The free event is organized by Claudia Byrd and Patty Hicks of LifePoint Community Church as a way to honor the memories of those lost due to suicide, as well as to heal those left behind. It is hoped that the event also will help individuals contemplating self-harm.

“People have got to know they are not alone,” said Byrd. “They have got to know there are people out here who care about them. We have got to help them get the help they need.”

Some of that help may come through the assistance of Aspen Mental Health, which will receive any funds raised through donations.

“I have chosen Aspen Mental Health to help further research and education on how to help children with trauma,” said Byrd. “If we can help equip the young with coping skills and the mental help they need when they are faced with hard times, then hopefully we can help prevent suicide.”

Such assistance at an early age may help prevent some of the speakers from attempting suicide in the first place.

“Deja Hincher will be speaking as a survivor herself and one that struggles with depression,” said Byrd. “She is wanting to bring hope to those struggling with these same issues to let them know they can overcome it.”

The same is true of other speakers, which include Therapist and Certified Clinical Trauma Professional Dallas Johnson of Aspen Mental Health, who will speak about the importance of mental health, and Missy Fuentes, who will present her Rotary speech about suicide and youth.

It was reading about Fuentes’ speech which inspired Byrd to focus on youth during this year’s event.

“I was just shocked by some of the statistics,” said Byrd, who was eager to reach as far out into the community as possible with the event message.

“There’s not anyone else on Earth like you. God made you unique and special, and there is just no way you can ever be replaced.”

For more information about the You Can’t Be Replaced Suicide Awareness Walk, call Claudia Byrd at 336-902-1419 or Patty Hicks at 336-467-1445.

Beanie Taylor can be reached through voicemail at 336-258-4058.

Organizers lead the walk during the You Can’t Be Replaced Suicide Awareness Walk in 2017.
https://www.elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_SuicideAwareness-15-1-1.jpgOrganizers lead the walk during the You Can’t Be Replaced Suicide Awareness Walk in 2017. Beanie Taylor | The Tribune

By Beanie Taylor

beanietaylor@elkintribune.com