Helping those in conflict and crisis

Suicide Prevention Walk helps fund crisis center, remember loved ones

suicide prevention walk
9/13/2014

Saturday ended National Suicide Prevention Week -- a time dedicated to education and awareness -- as Kalamazoo first Suicide Prevention Walk stepped off downtown.

Organizers tell Newschannel 3 the walk was a major success. More than 200 people showed up at Bronson Park with their babies and their puppies -- to support a cause they believe in.

Walker Zina Laduke says, "This has personally impacted me. I lost my nephew 13 years ago and I would do anything to save one person's life."

More than $21,000 was donated to suicide prevention programs at Gryphon Place, a crisis help center. One family raised $1,600 of it.

Susan Artis says, "A lot of people don't know what to do when a family member, someone who is in crisis, a friend ... we just really need to be aware of the signs and symptoms of depression and suicide."

Experts say signs of suicide can include substance abuse and telling people they don't want to be a burden anymore. Walkers say the stigma surrounding suicide is still a problem and needs to change.

Gryphon Place Executive Director Maricela Alcala says, "Sometimes there is the thought that people commit suicide because of being weak or selfish. That's not the case. It's really more of a mental health illness."

And walkers say it takes a community to help save a life.

For more information about suicide prevention programs, click here to contact Gryphon Place.

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Tags: crisis center, suicide