Letter: Suicide walk will benefit training (Sept. 14, 2022)

Editor:

September is Suicide Awareness month, and we would like to bring your attention to our annual Suicide Awareness and Prevention Walk that will be taking place on Saturday September 24th at Ralston Park in Lebanon. The walk is organized by Lebanon Area Mental Health Alliance (LAMHA) and sponsored by Veterans Services Organization, Samaritan Health Services and Dala’s Blue Angels. It is free for anyone to attend, and we welcome those who have experienced thoughts of or attempted suicide, the loved ones of those that have died by suicide and community members that want to help us prevent suicide locally.

This year the proceeds, via donations, will go towards a member of LAMHA attending suicide grief group training so that we can develop and host a local support group for people that have faced the tragedy of suicide. Proceeds from our 501c3 non-profit organization are also used to support people in need after surviving an attempt to end their life or experiencing a loved one’s death by suicide.

To put this into context, according to the Oregon Health Authority, suicide is the leading cause of death among Oregonians aged 10-24. In 2020, the most up-to-date information available, Benton County reported 9 and Linn County reported 22 deaths by suicide. This is likely an underestimate of the true death rates given that it is not always clear when someone dies by suicide. These statistics are alarming and deserving of public attention.

Every person can help us to make a difference in these statistics by becoming aware of the problem, educating themselves and supporting organizations dedicated to reducing the problem. With that, we hope to see you there.

David Butler, President

Gina Miller, MD, Member

Lebanon Area Mental Health Alliance

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