There will be live music at the Montrose Cultural Centre between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. today to kick-off events for World Suicide Prevention Day, which is Sunday.
Meanwhile, the 4th Annual Awareness Walk in support of World Suicide Prevention Day goes Saturday morning at Centre 2000.
“We’re going to walk for people that we’ve lost, people who are experiencing mental illness now, or maybe for yourself. Or, maybe just in support of the cause. We will all get back together again at the end when the sun comes up at Centre 2000 and have some breakfast together,” said Faris Atkinson, Program Coordinator at the Suicide Prevention Resource Centre.
Atkinson says the suicide rate is a growing issue in our area.
“In the northwest corner of Alberta, the suicide rates are fairly high, especially for men. For every female that dies by suicide, there’s about 10 males that die by suicide in our region.”
This year’s theme is “Take a Minute, Save a Life”.
“We’re seeing a lot more people reaching out for help, which is a really good thing. But we’re also seeing a lot of people dying,” Atkinson explained. “We’re hearing through the grapevine that there have been a lot of suicide deaths in the last little while. It’s always an ongoing thing, and that’s why it’s so important to talk about this, to keep the conversation going and to let people know – you are not alone.”
Registration for the Awareness Walk begins at 6:30 a.m. Saturday morning.
Atkinson encourages people to light a candle at 8 p.m. Sunday evening to honour those who we have lost to suicide.