Out of the Darkness community walks are coming up in Alliance, Scottsbluff, and Sidney with the primary goal to raise awareness of the devastating effects of suicide and to raise funds for local and national suicide prevention and awareness programs.

We invite community members to attend in any of the following locations:

* Alliance—Saturday, September 14, walk begins at 8 am, registration from 7:30-8 am at the Performing Arts Center-Commons Area, 1450 Box Butte Avenue.

* Scottsbluff—Saturday, September 14, walk begins at 4:30 pm, registration from 4 pm at the Trails West Pathway-YMCA Campground Pavillion.

* Sidney—Sunday, September 15, walk begins at 5 pm, registration from 4-5 pm at the Legion Park Shelter House.

“Suicide is a public health problem and is plagued by silence and stigma that continue to be barriers for seeking help,” stated Janelle Visser, Health Educator for Panhandle Public Health District. “These walks help bring suicide out of the darkness and raise money for education, prevention and awareness programs.”

One in four people live with a mental health condition. This means that someone you know, has or probably had thoughts of suicide. We never know what another person is going through. This is a public health issue that does not discriminate by age, gender, ethnicity, or socio economic status.

Suicide leaves behind countless family members and friends wondering, “Why did this happen?” “How will I get through it?”

The Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a number you can call if you have a friend, neighbor, or co-worker who is struggling and you are wondering how to be supportive. It’s also a number you can call if you are ever in a crisis. Please enter this number into your cell phone 1-800-273-8255. You never know whose life you might save. It might even be your own.

For more information regarding suicide prevention efforts, contact Janelle Visser with PPHD at 487-3600 ext. 105. Information on suicide warning signs and prevention can be found at www.afsp.org. Panhandle Public Health District is working together to improve the health, safety and quality of life for all who live, learn, work and play in the Panhandle.  Our vision is that we are a healthier and safer Panhandle Community.

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