Join walk to prevent suicide Oct. 23 at Walnut Beach

A group of local non-profit organizations will sponsor a suicide awareness and prevention walk, “Moments Do Matter,” on Sunday, Oct. 23 at Walnut Beach in Milford.

Bridges, Milford Prevention Council, United Way of Milford and Walks with Buddy have teamed up to  organize the walk as a way for the community to come together to support those who have lost a loved one to suicide, and to  provide information about suicide prevention.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, someone dies by suicide every 13 minutes in the United States. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people in the United States and 10th leading cause of death for all ages. It is also preventable with the right treatment and support, experts say.

“People must be able to talk about suicide without shame and guilt, to prevent it, to recover from the loss of a loved one,” said Joan Smeland, one of the walk’s organizers and founder of Walks with Buddy, an initiative she started to walk all the streets of Milford, in an effort to raise awareness of the need for support for good mental health care. “I find exercising, walking everyday with my dogs, is a tremendous way to relieve stress and stay healthy. I lost a cousin to suicide not long ago, and it is devastating. This walk is a way to celebrate life’s’ special moments, and remember that taking a moment to reach out to someone at risk for suicide can make the difference between life and death.”

There will be an activity for participants who wish to honor and memorialize a loved one before the walk. Milford native and NBC CT anchor Heidi Voight will serve as master of ceremonies for the event.

Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. and the two mile walk begins at 9:30. The registration fee is $15 for all, 5 years of age and older. Register online at Momentsdomatter.eventbrite.com

For more information, contact Marcy Hotchkiss at Bridges, 203-878-6365 or mhotchkiss@bridgesmilford.org or Wendy Gibbons at MPC, 203-783-6676 or wgibbons@bridgesmilford.org.