Good Samaritan Planning It's Second Annual Suicide Prevention 5K

Good Samaritan is preparing for their second Suicide Prevention 5K that will take place on Saturday, September 14 at Gregg 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. Last year was the first year for the 5K, and because of its success and number of participants, the Samaritan Center decided to once again organize the race for the community.

Suicide is a major public health crisis and continues to affect more individuals each year. It is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States killing almost 45,000 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 a few days after 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 “Working Together to Prevent Suicide”. 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., and here locally in our region,” 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 a.m. at Gregg Park. An opening ceremony will take place at 8:45 a.m., followed by a group lap around the park and the start of the race at 9:15 a.m. After the run, awards will be presented, followed by a speaker and closing remarks. This year’s speaker will be Jillian (Jill) Herb. Born and raised in Lawrence County, Illinois, Jill attended Vincennes Catholic Schools. She has a Masters of Education and is working on a second degree in English. Jill currently teaches English at Rivet High School.

Those who are interested in participating in the 5K will need to register online at samcenter5K.eventbrite.com or at any Samaritan Center location. The public is also welcome to attend the other activities, even if they are not participating in the 5K. There will be 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. For more information, visit gshvin.org/suicideprevention5k.

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