EDITOR:In recognition of National Suicide Prevention Week, Sept. 9-15, I would like to use this time to encourage the public to learn more about suicide and ways to prevent it.
Learning the key warning signs such as feelings of hopelessness, withdrawing from family and friends and making suicidal statements can help save lives. Suicide is a national emergency. If you or somebody you know is feeling suicidal or just needs to talk, help is available by calling 1-800-273-TALK.
Someone will always listen. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-24 year old persons. Worldwide there are more deaths to suicide than accidents, homicides and war combined. Every 14 minutes someone dies by suicide in the United States.
Another way the community can help is by volunteering and participating in the 4th Annual Dickinson County Out Of The Darkness Community Memorial Walk taking place in Iron Mountain at City Park on Saturday, Sept. 8.
Registration can be done online by visiting the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention at www.outofthedarkness.org , or walk up registration between 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. the morning of the walk. Look for the building at City Park with the registration signs.
Walk Pre-Ceremony begins at 12 noon with the walk itself getting under way at 1 p.m.
This year's Memorial Walk Event will include memorial quilts, memory boards, informational booths, horse riding, face painting, games for children, drawings for door prizes and dove release along with live music.
Luncheon to follow the walk. Whether you have been touched by suicide or not, I encourage you to attend.
Donations received will support both local and national suicide prevention for vital research, education programs, printed materials and awareness materials. Become "a lifesaver" and help stamp out the social stigma associated with depression, mental illness, and suicide.
QPR Training *Question *Persuade* Refer is another way one can educate oneself and learn how to recognize depression and suicidal ideation of another person. To learn more or to inquire about QPR training classes access the QPR Institute online www.qprinstitute.com.
More needs to be done to prevent suicide, and you can help make a difference. Suicide is a national emergency.
Visit www.afsp.org. Help our community walk in the light of hope and out of the darkness of depression.
Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
2012 Dickinson County
Out Of The Darkness