It’s an aunt who lost her 15-year-old nephew weeks before his 16th birthday. It’s a wife whose husband killed himself when she was pregnant with their second child. It’s a school community that’s mourning the death of one of their own.
The faces of suicide – those who are left behind – are everywhere, every day. They’re in the grocery store, they’re at the local recreation center and they’re at the library.
On Saturday, they will also be at West Forsyth High School.
Suicide Prevention Action Network-Georgia (SPAN-GA) will hold a suicide prevention awareness 5K walk/run to advocate, educate and bring awareness to the issue and offer support to the survivors who are left behind.
The walk is intended to help break the stigma around suicide, depression and mental illness while bringing the north Georgia community together.
“There is no single reason why anyone decides to take their life,” Sheri McGuinness, president and CEO of SPAN-GA, previously told the Forsyth County News. “One of the greatest challenges related to suicide is the stigma and embarrassment that keeps people from reaching out for help.”
McGuinness said there is “good help for mental health challenges, but we aren’t reaching out for that help when we need it or encouraging our loved ones to do so – because of the stigma. Physical health is no different than mental health, and we have to start believing that and sharing that belief.”
The run, which costs $25 for adults and $15 for students, begins at 9 a.m. at West Forsyth High School, with registration opening at 8:30 a.m.
A closing ceremony will include a dove release.
For more information, visit spanga.org.