One of the lanterns which will be carried during the Wednesday, Sept. 13 Creating Suicide Safer Communities Lantern Walk at McGuire Lake at 7:30 p.m. -Jim Elliot/Salmon Arm Observer

Walk sheds light on suicide

McGuire Lake event sends a message of hope, healing

Bringing the community together to help prevent suicide is one of Shannon Hecker’s missions.

Hecker, program coordinator with the Shuswap Revelstoke branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association, is one of the organizers of the Suicide Safer Communities Lantern Walk set for Wednesday, Sept. 13 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at McGuire Lake Park.

The event, which drew more than 150 people last year, is continuing this year with a short presentation and a walk with participants carrying lanterns, many with messages of remembrance, resilience, peace, hope and love.

“It’s a way to come together as a common city to acknowledge those we have lost but also to carry hope forward,” says Hecker. “It shows there is hope and that we can do more together for our children, youth and their families struggling with suicide.”

There will also be information on supports in the Shuswap for those touched by suicide and awareness of ways to help those at risk of taking their own lives. The Canadian Mental Health Association’s Shuswap-Revelstoke Branch also offers workshops to train individuals in suicide intervention techniques, which can help identify people who have thoughts of suicide, and increase their knowledge and confidence in responding to a person who is at risk.

If you or someone you love is considering suicide, there are supports.

If you are in an emergency, or feel that you or someone else is at risk of harm, please contact help immediately:

Call 911 for help right away. Speak to your doctor, or go to your nearest hospital emergency room, walk-in clinic or community health centre.

Call 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433). If you are thinking about ending your life or are concerned about someone who may be, you can call for help any time of day or night, from anywhere across B.C. It’s a free call.