Suicide Prevention Walk to be held on Sept. 14


Courtesy Photo

The Suicide Prevention Walk will take place Saturday, Sept. 14.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) Walk will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14 in the Hays Municipal Park.

The Suicide Prevention Walk is a way to spread awareness about suicide and suicide prevention.

Staff, students and community members are once again preparing to participate in this year’s walk, and they encourage others to join.

“I hope to see more people come up to support our team [Calista’s Crew], particularly students from Hays High,” junior Alexis White said. “It would be awesome to have a big turnout this year.”

Registration is free to the public and can be done in one of two ways: signing up in advance online or joining in person on Saturday.

Individuals wanting to sign up online can do so by visiting Online registration closes at noon on Friday, Sept. 13.

In-person registration begins at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14, up until the walk begins at 2 p.m.

Participants who collect $150 or more in donations by Sept. 14 — both through the website and donations turned in at registration — will receive an official “Out of the Darkness Walk” T-shirt. Walk donations will continue to be accepted through Dec. 31.

“Our team goal was $250,” White said. “We have already surpassed that amount by $100, but we would like to continue raising money for this important cause.”

Suicide is now the eighth leading cause of death in Kansas, up from 10th, and is the second leading cause of death for individuals aged 15-24. It is also the third leading cause of death for individuals aged 5-14, according to the 2017 Kansas Annual Summary of Vital Statistics.

If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.

“I feel that this walk is very important,” White said. “Whether you have been personally affected by suicide or not, it is a growing issue that we cannot just ignore. When we continue to spread awareness about suicide, we can help so many people.”