September has arrived. For many of us that means the changing of seasons, perhaps settling back into the routine of school and saying goodbye to lazy summer days. For others, it may also signify something much different. To many who have lost a loved one by suicide, September is a month symbolic of the advocacy work done to bring awareness to suicide prevention efforts through World Suicide Prevention Day (Sept 10), National Suicide Prevention Week (Sept 9 - 15) and locally at There is Hope (this Saturday Sept 8). While the pain and loss of a loved one to suicide stays with one through the days and years, a dedicated month to shine light on this important topic that supports on-going work to prevent further tragedies is much needed and incredible.
At MHA, the core of our work in many ways is suicide prevention and we are moments away from hosting the powerful and beautiful community event There is Hope ~ A Walk for Suicide Awareness & Prevention, on the morning of Saturday, September 8th, at Deland Park in Sheboygan along beautiful Lake Michigan.
I invite and encourage you to join this moment in time when we unite with a message of hope, resiliency, and recovery. Recently a co-worker described this event as having "more depth" than any other fundraiser/community event she's ever attended. That resonated with me as I reflect on those I know who have lost their lives to suicide, and all the families whose very personal and real losses I have come to know.
Raising funds to support our on-going work in the community in areas of prevention/education, stigma elimination, increasing access to care, and providing recovery and support services is an incredible sentiment to those who have heartbreakingly lost their lives to suicide. This gathering is light for those who have been, or are, lost among the shadows and fog. This event reminds us that there is no shame or blame in mental illness and that no death in our community by suicide loss is forgotten.
Please join me. I look forward in sharing this special moment in time with you. A moment of togetherness our community can be proud.
With Peace & Gratitude,
Kate S. Baer, M.A
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