The student news site of Marshall University

Walk for Hope to raise awareness of suicide, suicide prevention

April 9, 2018

“Suicide is the second leading cause of death for 14 to 24 year olds” is the tagline for the Walk for Hope on Thursday from 6-9 p.m. outside of the Memorial Student Center.

One of the coordinators Megan Workman, a graduate student in the social work program, said it was a chance to have a conversation about the serious topic of suicide.

“We worry that if we talk about it then it will spread,” Workman said. “But we need to talk about it and have an open conversation.”

Workman said the event will attempt to be fun while juxtaposing the seriousness of the conversation.

“Most people are uncomfortable discussing topics with negative stigmas like suicide and mental health, so making the walk, more upbeat, will hopefully get people comfortable with talking about difficult subjects like suicide,” Hayley Cornwell, social work graduate student, said.

Workman said there will be refreshments, live music, bubbles and chalk for any children who come.

“We didn’t want to have this event be too heavy even though the topic is heavy,” Workman said.

Cornwell and Workman both said they believe being informed could be the first step to help prevent suicides.

“People are uncomfortable with what they don’t know, in my opinion, the more people know about suicide, the more comfortable they will be talking to others about it, which could in turn save lives,” Cornwell said.

Workman and Cornwell said they are hopeful that students and community members will come out and be open to learn.

“We want people to come out and have a good time all while spreading awareness of suicide and suicide prevention,” Cornwell said. “Talking about suicide lets people know that they are not alone, and the Walk for Hope provides the platform and safe space for individuals to open up and express what they’ve been through.”

Michaela Crittenden can be contacted at [email protected]

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