WSW: Suicide Prevention Walk Shares Hope, Resources
One of Kalamazoo's most respected and longtime go-to agencies serving people in emotional pain holds a Suicide Prevention Walk this Saturday, Sept. 13th -- its first -- in hopes of sending a message of hope to the community, says Gryphon Place's assistant director.
Lacee Lyons says Marcicela Alcala, who became executive director of Gryphon Place in January, expects that the 45-year-old nonprofit organization will hold the 5K walk annually as a vehicle to regularly bring public attention to the issue of suicide and provide support for survivors. It is timed to coincide with the end of National Suicide Prevention Week.
"We have to start to work through some of the stigma associated with mental illness and with asking for help, because asking for help is the best thing we can do for ourselves and for our friends who are struggling," says Lyons, noting that people need to treat depression like any other of their medical problems and get it checked out.
The need for public awareness becomes clearer when one examines the numbers. According to Gryphon Place Assistant Director Lacee Lyons, who previously headed the group's suicide prevention education for about eight years, roughly 840 to 960 of the approximately 6,000 crisis calls that Gryphon Place fields each year are suicide-related.