Chalk the Walk, bringing awareness to veteran suicide

The Front Porch Coalition in connection with the VFW, downtown Rapid City, hosted a chalk the walk event to help support and those going though hard times by writing words of encouragement and suicide awareness messages.

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Each day in the United States, almost 20 veterans die by suicide. With such alarming statistics, many organizations, businesses and individuals are trying to create awareness of the epidemic.

Chalk the Walk, VFW

Chalk the Walk, VFW

Thursday, September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day.

Chalk the Walk, VFW

Chalk the Walk, VFW

The Front Porch Coalition in connection with the VFW, downtown Rapid City, hosted a chalk the walk event to help support those going though hard times by writing words of encouragement and suicide awareness messages.

Chalk the Walk, VFW

Chalk the Walk, VFW

Several other organizations in Rapid City are participating

Wayne Swier, Post Commander VFW Post 1273, says, “If we can, you know, create that pause for somebody so they don’t do something impulsive and just act in that moment because of that pain… come in and talk to us. Talk to one of us and we will help guide you to the proper resources, somebody that is better equipped to assist so that suicide doesn’t become that ultimate outcome for that individual.”

Chalk the Walk, VFW

Chalk the Walk, VFW

One in five Americans have a mental illness. Nine in 10 people who die by suicide have an underlying mental illness. Governor Kristi Noem has proclaimed September both Suicide Prevention Month and Recovery Month in South Dakota.

Bridget Swier, Front Porch Coalition Fundraiser and Event Coordinator, says, “We all have to be mindful of our mental wellness and I think that it brings great awareness and really gets the conversation going about the epidemic of suicide in our community and among our veterans.”

Chalk the Walk, VFW

Chalk the Walk, VFW

The 211 Helpline Center also takes calls in regard to mental health.

Chalk the Walk, VFW

Chalk the Walk, VFW

Wayne says, “The veteran population suffers a lot with the epidemic of suicide so we thought we’d take part in that and show our support to help battle this epidemic and show our support for that.”

Chalk the Walk, VFW

Chalk the Walk, VFW

Bridget adds, “And we just want them to know that they are not alone that we haven’t forgotten what they have done for our country and we are here to stand beside them and support them.”

Chalk the Walk, VFW

Chalk the Walk, VFW

If you or someone you know is overwhelmed with emotions such as sadness, depression or anxiety, reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text the Crisis Text Line “Hello” to 741741.

Categories: Local News

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