On May 12, the North Rose Chapter will hold a “Walk for Life!” It is an event to raise suicide awareness and prevention; to honor our loved ones lost to suicide and suicide survivors; and to erase the stigma that is so sadly attached to suicide.
The North Rose, NY, Chapter of Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention has been active since 2009. I am the Chapter leader. I joined Yellow Ribbon after losing my husband, Dale, to suicide on Christmas Eve 2008 from bipolar disorder and a lifelong battle with addiction. Five months later, I was shocked to lose my precious 15-year-old son Samuel (Sam) to suicide on May 28, 2009. Sam suffered no mental illness, no history of drug or alcohol abuse. The stress and grief of losing his father is what took our precious Sam from us. My daughter, Jessica and I lost half of our family to suicide in a few short months. We can attest that suicide changes lives dramatically and tragically forever. We can also tell you that what happened to our family is not uncommon. A loved one is lost to suicide every 15 minutes in the United States. Devastatingly, two of those loved ones were ours.
Yellow Ribbon is a suicide prevention program geared toward teens and young adults. The program teaches them what to do if they are or know someone in suicidal crisis. The main message is “It’s OK to Ask For Help!” The program also teaches risk factors, warning signs and coping strategies if suicidal. Yellow Ribbon also provides suicide postvention and supports suicide survivors. Yellow Ribbon has chapters in 29 states and five other countries. Yellow Ribbon as a whole has saved 3,500 precious lives since its inception in 1994. The North Rose Chapter has saved 11 lives since 2009, supported countless teens with suicidal feelings, and supported many suicide survivors.
On May 12, the North Rose Chapter will hold a “Walk for Life!” It is an event to raise suicide awareness and prevention; to honor our loved ones lost to suicide and suicide survivors; and to erase the stigma that is so sadly attached to suicide. "Walk for Life” will be held on the track at North Rose-Wolcott High School, 11631 Salter-Colvin Road, in Wolcott (in the gym if raining). It begins at 9:30 a.m. The fee is $10, $15 or $20; higher donations gratefully accepted. This event is open to anyone who would like to join us and walk to bring this most important cause to the forefront.
I, along with Jessica, began the North Rose Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Chapter to honor Sam — to keep his memory alive forever. This is Sam’s legacy to the world!
If you are in suicidal crisis, please call 1-800-273-TALK. Counselors are available to help 24/7. If you would like more info on Yellow Ribbon and “Walk for Life,” please contact me at (315) 573-9958, firstname.lastname@example.org.
TAMMY SALERNO RICHARDSON