Lacombians promote mental health and suicide prevention

Last week, Lacombians gathered to spread awareness as part of the third annual Walk for Wellness and Suicide Prevention.

MARCH ON - Bagpiper Frank Neelands leads marchers in the Walk 4 Wellness and Suicide Prevention at the beginning of their trek through downtown Lacombe from the Lacombe Memorial Centre on Sept. 10th.

Last week, Lacombians gathered to spread awareness as part of the third annual Walk for Wellness and Suicide Prevention.

About 100 people were present at the Lacombe Memorial Centre (LMC) Sept. 10th as part of the event. Prior to the walk, those in attendance heard from several guest speakers, many of who spoke from personal experience and shared their stories about mental health and suicide.

In doing so, they began to chip away at the fictional belief that suicide is a taboo that should not be talked about and will go away if ignored. As Sunny 94’s Darcy Stingel, master of ceremonies for the program, reminded participants throughout the event, it is important to talk about suicide because it is the only way the problem will get better.

Heather Jackson, who founded the Walk for Wellness and Suicide Prevention after her 15-year-old son took his own life, was the last to speak during the program. She referred to her battle with her son’s suicide as a “perpetual tornado,” saying no matter how much time passes, she (and anyone else who has lost someone to suicide) could still be hit full force with the grief of losing a loved one.

Jackson and others also spoke of how necessary it is for those suffering to seek help. She said reaching out is not a sign of weakness but rather a way of letting those who care know how they can help.

“We all make mistakes and there is no shame in that,” said Jackson. She also said that reaching out is a much better alternative than becoming consumed by one’s own sadness.

Raven Craig, another speaker at the event, also commented on how important it is for those suffering to reach out and also how important it is for people to know what to do when a loved one reaches out. She told of how she lost a close friend to suicide because she did not know how to help them, but later in life managed to comfort another friend who was considering taking similar action.

Craig also talked about how many struggling with mental health or other issues feel like suicide is their only option to end their suffering. She said suicide does not end suffering, but rather transfers it onto those left alive in its wake.

“Solving pain with suicide simply spreads the hurt to the people around them after they’ve gone like a never ending cycle of depression,” said Craig. “It’s very important to give people the gift of the opportunity to help you, but I think we also need to teach more people how to accept it.”

After hearing the speakers, marchers walked a route through downtown Lacombe and back to the LMC sporting white t-shirts and bearing signs with anti-suicide messages on them like ‘Change your thinking, change your life,’ and ‘You are important.’

After the march, participants met again at the LMC for a barbeque and fellowship, remembering those they had walked for.

news@lacombeexpress.com

 

Just Posted

Gord Bamford returns to Central Alberta on latest tour

Hocky Tonks and Dive Bars Tour coming to Bo’s in November

PHOTO: Big Brothers Big Sisters cuts ribbon at Bamford House

New facility to help local youth with mentorship

UPDATE: 18-year-old Rimbey teen dies in collision

A portion of Highway 53 west of Rimbey is down to one lane while crews investigate

Lacombe County Council highlights- Sept. 13. 2018

Lacombe County held a regular meeting of Council

New athletic league for Burman volleyball and basketball teams

University joins Prairie Athletic Conference

WATCH: AHS breaks ground on new Lacombe Community Health Centre

17,000 sq. ft. facility will bring existing Lacombe AHS services together

Mistaken identity: Missing dog claimed in Moose Jaw belongs to another family

Brennen Duncan was reunited with a white Kuvasz that was found in Saskatchewan

Pair arrested in Ponoka with several weapons, face 98 charges

Two men nabbed after early morning suspicious vehicle reported, stolen weapons found

Potential replacements for Phoenix pay system to start testing soon: Brison

Testing of prototypes to replace troubled federal pay system will begin within weeks

Nanaimo’s Tilray Inc. briefly the world’s largest cannabis company

The company, only listed in the US, nearly reached $300 in afternoon trading on Wednesday

Woman who helped kidnap Elizabeth Smart released from prison

Smart was 14 years old when she was snatched from her Salt Lake City home in 2002 by street preacher Brian David Mitchell

New York books editor out after backlash over Jian Ghomeshi essay

Ian Buruma, who was appointed as editor of the New York Review of Books in late 2017, no longer works for the publication

Competition tribunal to hear B.C.-based case on airline food starting in October

The competition commissioner argued Vancouver airport authority had exploited its market position

Most Read