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Local organization raising awareness of suicide prevention

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Community Suicide Prevention

IDAHO FALLS – It’s National Suicide Prevention Month, and a local organization is inviting you to remember those who have died by suicide.

Community Suicide Prevention in Idaho Falls is hosting the 14th annual Memorial Walk at Community Park on Thursday, Sept. 12.

Agency spokesperson Tina Wheatley tells EastIdahoNews.com the event is a way to not only honor those who have died but also support those who are grieving the loss of a loved one.

“At least 60 people are affected by every suicide loss,” Wheatley says. “It is a way we can reach out to others not affected to help them understand how we all might recognize and support others in need.”

The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a simple remembrance ceremony. There will then be a short walk and a dedication of a special gift from Mountain View Charity.

The gift is a bench memorial made by a local artist. It features an image of an angel with wings wrapped around its arms.

“It’s beautiful,” says Wheatley. “When you sit on it, it’s like getting a hug from your angel.”

The bench memorial is in the aspen grove in the southwest corner of the park. The event is open to everyone, and Wheatley encourages you to attend.

A bench memorial gifted by Mountain View Charity. | Courtesy Tina Wheatley

‘Paths to Hope’ conference

Also, Community Suicide Prevention is hosting its “Paths to Hope” conference Friday, Sept. 13, at the Idaho State University campus in Idaho Falls.

Multiple speakers will address a wide range of topics, including recognizing and talking about suicide, helping those in crisis develop positive coping skills, prevention training and supporting youth.

Karen Nielsen, author of “Pathways: From Victim to Survivor and Beyond,” is the keynote speaker. Becky Leatham, the director of Community Youth in Action, and Brigham Young University-Idaho professor Andra Hansen, along with other local experts, will also be in attendance.

The conference is open to anyone 16 and up, but those under 18 need to be accompanied by an adult. It is happening from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. inside the ISU Bennion Building at 1784 Science Center Drive, No. 218. Lunch will be provided.

There is no cost to attend. You can register for the event online or by emailing communitysuicideprevention@gmail.com. You can also register at 7:30 a.m. before the conference begins.

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