KELLOGG — This Friday, the SAVE (Support, Action, Volunteerism, and Education) Coalition will be hosting their fourth annual Walk to Break the Silence event.
With Shoshone County having one of the state’s highest suicide rates, SAVE has seen success in that number, dropping from third-highest to fifth, which should serve as motivation for the group to continue raising awareness.
“There is such a need for awareness in our community,” SAVE member Andrea Garner said. “The walk is to remember the loved ones who have taken their own lives, but it brings up the subject for people who may be afraid to talk about suicide.”
As Garner mentioned, this event has become a segue for bringing both dialogue and awareness to the taboo subject, which is a positive for the group who has put an emphasis on opening up lines of communication for those who are struggling.
Over the last four years, the group has completed more than 300 QPR trainings (Question, Persuade and Refer) believing that the more people they talk to and train, the more people they can potentially save.
With September being National Suicide Awareness Month, the event is a perfect way for people to get out and get involved in their community to help take the stigmas off many of the things that lead to someone completing suicide.
“We have had people in our group who have lost people,” Garner said. “Depression and mental health has a stigma to it, you can’t tell a person with clinical depression to just get over it and expect them to. We have to continue to work.”
The walk will begin on Friday at 5 p.m. at the Kellogg City Park and will weave through Kellogg (course subject to change due to construction) and will be followed by a bubble release once everyone has returned.
“We want to stop the stigma and raise awareness for people who are struggling,” Garner said. “If this walk helps even one person, then it’s worth it for all of us.”