According to a recent report from the Ohio Department of Health, suicide takes the lives of five Ohio residents every day, for a total of 1,836 suicides in 2018 alone. In the same year, nationwide, suicide accounted for over 48,000 deaths and was the tenth leading cause of death in the country. In Ashland County itself, 89 people died from suicide between 2000 and 2013, according to our statistics.
While people tend to believe that suicide attempts inevitably lead to death, the reality is, if people in crisis get the help they need, many suicides can be prevented. That’s why each year, The Mental Health & Recovery Board of Ashland County organizes a Suicide Prevention and Awareness Walk. The event raises awareness in the community, aids in reducing the stigma of suicide, and lets people in the community who struggle with their own mental health know that help is available—that a brighter future awaits them!
The walk also helps people honor loved ones they’ve lost to suicide in a positive light and see that they aren’t alone. The Ashland community comes together to support each other and provide understanding. For some families, the walk provides space for a yearly time to come together and remember their loved one: a time when they can laugh, cry, and heal. Some families even make T-shirts to wear as they walk, to honor their loved one. This yearly remembrance plays an important part in their own healing.
Due to COVID-19, the walk will be “virtual” this year—which means you can walk, run, or jog one mile either independently or with family members and friends in a socially-distanced fashion. During your walk or run, it’s encouraged to use the hashtag #AshlandWalks4Awareness to spread awareness in your social circles.
For more information about this year’s walk and to register, visit our website.