From October 29 to November 1, Take Strides Tri-Cities, together with Richland High and Hanford High, held their fifth annual suicide awareness walk: Take Strides to End Teen Suicide. The Take Strides event is one of the ways in which the Youth Suicide Prevention Coalition helps educate the community.

Community sponsors for the event include: ALifeYOUnited, Recovery and Wellness Center of Eastern Washington, Cork's Place, Kadlec, Therapy Dogs, Courtney Salazar, Domestic Violence Services of Benton/Franklin Counties, Lourdes Crisis Services, Benton Franklin Health District, Communities in Schools of Benton Franklin, Blessed by Kess, ESD123, KNDU News, Amerigroup, 211, Washington Securities and Investment Corp, and Benton-Franklin Community Health Alliance.

The mission of the Youth Suicide Prevention Coalition is “to promote awareness and understanding that suicide is a preventable public health problem in the Benton and Franklin counties and to encourage our community to talk about it.”

In addition to putting on events like Take Strides to End Teen Suicide, the Youth Suicide Prevention Coalition also arranges presentations for various organizations and provides suicide reporting recommendations for media organizations.

Even though the Take Strides event was all virtual this year due to social distancing requirements, 188 participants registered online and walked or ran to raise money for suicide prevention. Participants were encouraged to snap photos of their runs/walks around the neighborhood, on the treadmill, or wherever they took on the challenge, and post the pictures with the hashtag #TakingStridesTC on social media.

Each day of the event had a different ‘Spirit Day’ theme. On October 29, participants were asked to wear green to promote taking positive action; on October 30, they represented their school or business. October 31, they wore Halloween costumes, and on November 1 participants wore yellow for suicide prevention awareness.

Nearly $1200 was donated for the event. Proceeds will go toward funding future educational events in schools and the community related to suicide prevention.

Sara Quinn is the Editor in Chief at Tumbleweird. She makes pixel art, writes stuff, reads A TON, and plays a lot of video games ;)

Photo by Andrew Tanglao on Unsplash