Good Samaritan Planning A Suicide Prevention 5K

Good Samaritan is preparing for their first Suicide Prevention 5K that will take place on Saturday, September 8 at Kimmell Park in Vincennes. For the past few years, the Samaritan Center has organized suicide prevention events aimed at raising awareness and breaking the silence of suicide, but decided to change things a little this year and increase the number of attendees by offering a 5K walk/run.

Suicide is a major public health crisis and continues to affect more and more individuals each year. It is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States killing more than 44,000 people every year. Locally, one in three individuals has been impacted by suicide and the effects often linger across generations because of the unwillingness to communicate after an attempt or death.

The Suicide Prevention 5K takes place two days before World Suicide Prevention Day, which is on September 10, and National Suicide Prevention Week, which is observed from September 9-15. This year’s walk theme is “Out of the Darkness”. The goal of the 5K is to give people the courage to open up about their own struggle or loss, and create a platform to change our culture’s approach to mental health.

“Suicide numbers continue to grow throughout the U.S., with Indiana being one of the highest states,” said Kristi Scherer, Executive Director of the Samaritan Center. “We sponsor this walk to raise awareness of suicide and to reduce the stigma associated with mental health. It is our hope that individuals feel comfortable asking for help, and community members know where to seek help.”

Registration for the Suicide Prevention 5K will begin at 8:30 a.m. at the pavilion in Kimmell Park. An opening ceremony will take place at 8:45 a.m. with the 5K run to immediately follow at 9 a.m. After the run, awards will be presented, followed by a speaker and closing remarks. The speaker at this year’s event will be Vincennes native, Dr. Adam Hill. Dr. Hill currently works at Riley Hospital in the pediatric palliative care unit where he uses his struggle with depression to help others, including those who work in medicine.

Those who are interested in participating in the 5K will need to register online at suicideprevention5K.eventbrite.com or at any Samaritan Center location. Registrations will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Friday, September 7. The public is also welcome to attend the other activities, even if they are not participating in the 5K. There will a chalk memorial on the sidewalk where individuals can write the names of the loved ones they have lost, memory/support bracelet craft table, and more than 10 informational booths from local mental health programs in the area.

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