Volunteers walk in RC to fight suicide
ROGERS CITY — Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S., yet suicide can be prevented. Volunteers from Rogers City and Northeast Michigan joined the quarter of a million people who are walking in towns across the country to draw attention to the fight for suicide prevention.
The first Rogers City/NE Michigan Out of the Darkness Community Walk, hosted by the Michigan Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (afsp.org/Michigan) was held at 1 p.m. on Sept. 26 at the Rogers City Area Senior and Community Center. This walk supported the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s education and support programs and its bold goal to reduce the annual U.S. rate of suicide by 20% by the year 2025.
“Suicide touches one in five American families. We hope that by walking we will draw attention to this issue and keep other families from experiencing a suicide loss. Our ultimate goal is to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide,” said Jane Trestain, AFSP Michigan Chapter Volunteer.
The Rogers City/NE Michigan Out of the Darkness Community Walk is one of more than 550 Out of the Darkness Overnight, Community and Campus Walks being held nationwide this year. The walks are expected to unite more than 300,000 walkers and raise millions of dollars for suicide prevention efforts. Last year, these walks raised over $21 million for suicide prevention. This year, this local walk raised over $20,000, and had around 200 participants.
Speakers at the Rogers City/NE Michigan Out of the Darkness Community Walk included Jane Trestain, walk chair, and Corbin Standley, Michigan Chapter board chair.
“These walks are about turning hope into action,” said AFSP CEO Robert Gebbia. “The research has shown us how to fight suicide, and if we keep up the fight, the science is only going to get better and our culture will get smarter about mental health. With the efforts of our courageous volunteers, and a real investment from our nation’s leaders, we hope to significantly reduce the suicide rate in the United States.”
Local sponsors for the Rogers City/NE Michigan Out of the Darkness Walk include: WATZ Radio, Awakon Federal Credit Union, State Farm Insurance-Cory Budnick, Huron State Bank, Huron Veterinary Clinic, Calcite Credit Union, Bishop Chevrolet, Rivertown Computers, Fraternal Order of Eagles #4482 of Millersburg, Soulology, Pine Lumber of Millersburg, Presque Isle Gas & Electric Co-Op, Julie Smolinski and Rachel Collins of Elite Salon, Zonta Club of Rogers City, Kip’s Plumbing and Heating LLC, Great Lakes Conveyor Belt Service Inc., Chi Chi’s Restaurant and UP North 23 Restaurant and Lounge.