The Delaware Suicide Prevention Coalition’s Suicide Prevention Walk will return next month after last year’s event was cancelled by the pandemic.
Sarah Lee Jefferson, the chair of the Suicide Prevention Coalition, said Thursday she’s thrilled to be able to have the event, which will be held on Sept. 11 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Ohio Wesleyan University Jaywalk, located at 40 Rowland Ave. in Delaware.
John P. Ackerman, Ph.D., a child clinical psychologist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, will serve as keynote speaker. Attendees also get a free t-shirt and bag while supplies last.
“We’re very excited for it to be happening this year,” Jefferson said. “We felt really confident, but with the Delta Variant, we want participants to know that everything is subject to change.”
Participants will take a 1.5-mile walk through historic downtown Delaware to promote awareness. Other activities include:
• Speakers from the community
• Activity and craft tables for kids & adults
• Presentation of the Community Connectedness Award
• Local agencies and groups that support suicide prevention efforts in and around Delaware County.
Jefferson encouraged participants to check the event’s website at connections.galaxydigital.com or the walk’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/dspcwalk the day before the event for any changes.
Jefferson said safety is a priority for the event, and masks and social distancing are strongly encouraged.
She said everyone is welcome at the event.
“The biggest thing I look forward to is everyone coming together,” Jefferson said. “Whether they are a survivor of suicide loss, an attempt survivor, or just someone who supports suicide prevention, it’s a day for all of us to come together. It’s personally my favorite day of the year.”
Jefferson said the purpose of the event is “hope, awareness and change.”
“I hope that (attendees) feel connected and feel like they are being given different resources in the community so they can help themselves or help someone else who is struggling,” Jefferson said. “It’s important for people to know they’re not alone, whether they’re a survivor or not. (We want them) to know all the different resources, so that if they know someone who is struggling, (they) know what’s available to them. We want to bring awareness to downtown Delaware. You can’t talk about this stuff enough.”
The event is sponsored by Helpline, Delaware-Morrow Mental Health & Recovery Services Board, Larry Coolige and Amber Herbster.
More information can be found at connections.galaxydigital.com.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.