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Walk for Hope raises awareness

STAFF REPORT

The 9th Annual Walk for Hope will be held Saturday Sept. 21, 2019 in the Huntington North Field House.

Registration begins at 6:30 p.m. and the event begins at 7 p.m.

The two mile walk consists primarily of Cherry and Poplar streets.

Walk for Hope is hosted by the Youth Services Bureau (YSB) and the Teen Suicide Prevention Task Force (TSPTF).

Sponsors for the 2019 event are the Indiana Suicide Prevention Network and Bippus State Bank.

“Last year there were 100 walkers,” said Trace Hinesley, HCCSC and task force member. “We would love to have more this year.”

Walk for Hope is also a YMCA Battle of the Businesses event.

“The main purpose of the walk is to bring awareness to the issue of suicide and the impact this has on our community,” said Shelly Snyder, director of the Huntington Bowen Center and a task force member.

Walkers can pre-register by contacting YSB at 356-9681 or visiting the agency’s website at www.ysbofhuntingtonco.org. Registrations are accepted the day of the event as well.

Participants may seek donations or sponsors if they choose. All funds raised will be used to help provide suicide prevention activities in Huntington County. Donations are tax deductible.

According to Indiana data; Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among teens; 1 youth is lost to suicide every 4 days, 1 in 10 high school students will attempt suicide before they leave high school, boys are 3 times more likely to die from suicide, while girls are 4 times more likely to attempt suicide.

“In 2018, 85 youth in Huntington County received immediate assistance through the community protocol as they contemplated suicide,” said Jan Williams, YSB and task force member.

YSB and the TSPTF have taken an aggressive approach to suicide prevention since 2009. The development of a comprehensive community approach has provided a safety net for young people who are contemplating suicide and provides them with immediate access to assistance.