The Resource Centre for Suicide Prevention in Grande Prairie will be holding its annual Darkness to Light Walk to help raise awareness for mental health resources in the city. Resource Coordinator Tammy Munro says the event isn’t just for those who have been personally touched by the tragic loss of suicide, but anyone who wants to try to make a difference.
“It could be anybody who has a passion for it, maybe they didn’t lose somebody but are very passionate about prevention.”
According to the Centre for Suicide Prevention, a branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association, 556 Albertans died by suicide in Alberta in 2019. Munro says the idea is to keep the discussion going outside of September 10th and World Suicide Prevention Day, as it is critical that people who may not know the resources to get as informed as possible.
“We want to make people aware that first of all, we are here if you’re ever struggling and need resources. We have training and workshops as well [for] service providers who may be working with someone who may be suicidal, or potentially having [a] mental health crisis,” she adds.
Earlier this week, an anonymous source donated more than $25,000 to the Resource Centre for Suicide Prevention, which will go towards its new youth mental health programs and adult suicide intervention training.
Munro says mental health is just as important as physical health, as overall wellbeing hinges on both being in the best possible shape. The Darkness to Light Walk begins at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday, September 12th in the Centre 2000 parking lot and will run until approximately 9 a.m.
The event will have a different feel in 2020, however, as organizers are be taking extra precautions due to COVID-19. Participant groups are being asked to stagger their starts and not all turn up at the same time.
One person per group is also asked to formally register for the walk, with information only being used in the event that contact tracing by AHS is required. Participants are also advised to bring their own snacks and water, as neither will be provided on site.