This month areas of Greenbrier County are recognizing the importance of raising awareness about the most preventable cause of death, suicide, by proclaiming Sept. 14 as Suicide Prevention and Awareness Day. On Sept. 3, the City of Rainelle and the City of Rupert declared Sept. 14 as its “Suicide Prevention and Awareness Day” followed by the City of Lewisburg on Sept. 4 and the City of Ronceverte on Sept. 9. The Greenbrier County Commission joined in the proclamation on Aug. 27 and Greenbrier County Board of Education on Sept. 10.
The Hope Coalition of Greenbrier County organized the proclamations as part of their mission to bring together the necessary public awareness resources, prevention training, treatment and survivor support to reduce the suicide rate in our community. The Hope Coalition is a suicide prevention coalition located in Greenbrier County and was established in 2011 by a group of local stakeholders who wanted to begin an awareness and education campaign to assist in the prevention of suicide in our region.
Also, on Sept. 14, in honor of Suicide Prevention and Awareness Day the City of Rainelle will host the 2nd Annual Greenbrier County Suicide Prevention Walk. The walk will take place at the Rainelle Town Hall with registration at 10 a.m., an opening program beginning at 10:45, and the walk beginning at 11 a.m. Sponsors include Seneca Health Services, Rainelle Medical Center, Amanda Reed Photography, the Robert C. Byrd Clinic and Western Greenbrier Pharmacy.
There will be many opportunities at the walk for community members to honor those we have lost to suicide. These include:
• “A Memory Table” for survivors of suicide loss to display and share in memory of their loved ones. If you are a survivor please bring a personal memento or photo to display on the Memory Table.
• A balloon release ceremony during the event to honor the memory of those who have died from suicide and to honor those who are left behind in their recovery.
Citizens of Greenbrier, Monroe, Summers, Pocahontas and other surrounding counties are encouraged to attend the walk on Sept. 14 in honor of Suicide Prevention and Awareness Day and to join with other community members in reaffirming their commitment to community, family, and life, and to reach out to those who may be struggling with suicide. For more information please call 304-793-2505 or visit the Hope Coalition Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HopeCoalition for the link to pre-register online for the walk.
The Hope Coalition of Greenbrier County is a local group comprised of medical, mental health, public education, emergency responders, law enforcement, faith and other community leader representatives formed to bring together the necessary public awareness resources, prevention training, treatment and survivor support to reduce the suicide rate in our community.