The Long Island Crisis Center, an agency at the forefront of suicide prevention among young people, will hold its 9th annual suicide awareness walk on the Long Beach boardwalk on Sept. 17.
“Teen suicide is not a pleasant subject, but it is something all Long Islanders need to be thinking about,” said the center’s Executive Director Linda Leonard in a statement. “As parents, educators, and community members, we have a responsibility to promote suicide prevention and to remind young people that it’s OK to ask for help.”
Referred to as “Let’s Walk, Let’s Talk: Stepping Together to Prevent Suicide,” the walk aims to destigmatize suicide and create a dialogue around the subject, organizers said. The event steps off at Laurelton Boulevard at 11:30 a.m. following registration at 10:30 a.m. and a brief program at 11 a.m.
Additionally, organizers said family members and friends of those who fell victim to suicide are invited to post a photo, letter, poem or any other memorabilia of the one they lost to be displayed on the Survivors’ Space Wall of Remembrance.
“I try to look at it as [promoting] optimum wellness instead of suicide prevention,” said Jacqueline Shelley, who will walk with a group of people at the event. She founded Danny’s Dream foundation after her son, Daniel, died in 2015 and has since been devoted to helping suicide survivors fight the stigma of mental illness. “We all have to be much more proactive in taking steps to help people get to wellness.”
“At LICC, we know that suicide crosses all religious, racial, ethnic, economic, and educational lines — it affects everyone,” said LICC Director of Development Fran Karliner in a statement. “Most importantly, we understand that suicide prevention is only effective when we can destigmatize the subject of suicide and talk openly and honestly about it. That is the true purpose of this walk.”
Organizers suggest a minimum donation of $25 per participant. For more information or to pre-register, visit www.longislandcrisiscenter.org/thewalk or call (516) 826-0244.