Suicide Prevention Walk

  Sheridan’s sixth annual Out of the Darkness Walk was held at the Whitney Commons on Saturday, Sept. 24.

  The walking route was approximately two miles long. The walkers started in Whitney Commons and then walked down Main Street. After that, they looped into Kendrick Park and then walked back into Whitney.

  “It gives people a chance to connect with one another; but I also think, especially for our students and the public in general, it helps take away that stigma of suicide,” said Sheridan High School counselor Anne Travis. SHS’s Sources of Strength had spread the word about having as many SHS students and teachers participate in the walk.

  Participants were encouraged to bring photos, written memorials, and other items to post to the event’s Memory Board but were encouraged to pick their items up at the end of the event. Walkers who raised a minimum of 150 dollars will received an Out of the Darkness t-shirt. Walkers were able to fundraise in various ways but the most common were asking family members and businesses to support their cause.

  The Wyoming suicide rate ranks highest of all 50 states, almost double the average of about 12 deaths per 100,000. “It is a real problem that we have, not only in our town or community, but state and nation,” Travis said. “The more that we can talk about it the more that people can get together and I think that’s a positive thing.”

   Walk donations are accepted until Dec. 31. On the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention website (AFSP) there are more tips for fundraising.  Participation in the walk helped the AFSP raise awareness and funds to invest in new research and educational programs, advocate for public policy, and support survivors of suicide loss.

  If you or a friend is having issues with suicide, you can text WYO to 741741, and it will connect to help in Wyoming.