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Community turns out to walk in support of suicide prevention

KENNEWICK, Wash. - About a hundred community members gathered in Kennewick Saturday morning for the 12th annual Walk About to Talk About Suicide Prevention. The event is all about raising awareness for suicide prevention, decreasing the stigma surrounding mental health issues and remembering those who've been lost to suicide. 

The one-mile walk is run by the Benton Franklin Youth Suicide Prevention Coalition. The Kennewick Police Department also showed their support at the event for those working in the mental health field. 

Cameron Fordmeir with Lourdes Counseling Center helped put the event together. He said seeing such a big turn out means a lot to him. 

"We have professionals that deal with this on a daily basis, but in everyday life it's going to be friends, family, business owners, somebody that's coming into contact with somebody," said Fordmeir. "So they need to know that there is help out there, and that this is something that we can talk about and something that we can prevent." 

On average, two Washington State youth die by suicide every week, and it's the second leading cause of death for youth ages 15-24 in the state,

"It's very important for the community to get involved because this right here is what's going to make the difference," said Fordmeir. "There are services out there but a lot of times people are afraid to seek out services, and they don't have a trusted adult, or they don't have a trusted loved one to talk to."

Fordmeir urges the community to get involved in the cause by going to community training events to help raise awareness and decrease the stigma for those who want to seek out services. 

The National Suicide Prevention hotline is 1-800-273-8255. 

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