Stark County, OH (August 25, 2021) – On the eve of National Suicide Prevention Month in September, which is a time to join, remember, honor, and support those who have been impacted by suicide, the Stark County Suicide Prevention Coalition will host A Walk for Suicide Awareness at The Mindfulness Walk at Petros Lake Park – 3519 Perry Dr. SW, Canton. Opening remarks will be held at 11 a.m., and the walk will commence at 11:30. The event will be held rain or shine – no registration is needed and there is no cost.
This 1-mile walk is open to anyone wishing to increase awareness around suicide in our community. Walkers could be supporting those who have lost loved ones to suicide, survivors of attempts, those who work in the field of suicide prevention, or anyone experiencing any other connection to suicide – including those with the desire to support, even with no direct personal link. All attendees will receive a suicide awareness pin, as well as a special candle to use on Sept. 10, which is World Suicide Prevention Day. On that day, people worldwide are encouraged to wear purple by day and light a candle in a window at night. These signals of unity are an important part of building connection, as it’s known that the effects of suicide are far-reaching.
“Grief after suicide is a different type of grief than what someone will experience with any other loss,” said Elena Aslanides-Kandis, Suicide and Community Response Coordinator at Stark County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery (StarkMHAR). “Suicide doesn’t happen in vacuums, it happens in families, social circles, and ultimately, communities. So acknowledging that ripple effect in a meaningful way is useful for the healing process,” Aslanides-Kandis, who also leads the Stark County Suicide Prevention Coalition, said.
The Stark County Suicide Prevention Coalition is a partnership of representatives from more than 20 local community organizations working together to save lives. Active members currently include representatives from community advocacy, behavioral health organizations, survivors of suicide loss, social service organizations, human service agencies, government organizations, medical facilities, and educational institutions. Contact Elena Aslanides-Kandis at 330-455-6644 for information on upcoming meetings, which are being held virtually at this time.
“As with so much of our work, just coming out to show support even though this is a tough thing to talk about is a huge step,” said John Aller, Executive Director at StarkMHAR. “We hope to see you at the walk, and please look for all kinds of ways to elevate this conversation throughout September.”
A link to the Facebook event for this walk as well as details on other upcoming events can be found under “Trainings and Events” at StarkMHAR.org.
About Stark County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery
Stark County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery is a multi-faceted organization of expert professionals, dedicated volunteers and concerned community leaders close to mental health and addiction needs right here at home. StarkMHAR is responsible for planning, funding and monitoring public mental health and addiction prevention, early intervention and treatment services delivered to the residents of Stark County. It is one of approximately 50 boards coordinating the public behavioral health system across Ohio. StarkMHAR also advocates for residents with behavioral health issues at both the local and state levels and provides educational opportunities for local providers and other community stakeholders. For more online about the work of StarkMHAR, visit www.StarkMHAR.org.