Journey to Hope Moose Jaw broke the silence about suicide five years ago.
“It was to stand in solidarity with others so that people know they don’t have to go through this alone,” said Della Ferguson, continued care coordinator for W.J. Jones and Son Family Resource Centre.
An American walk called Out of the Darkness inspired some members of the survivors of suicide support group to start one of their own. The plan was for all of the funds to stay in the community.
Ferguson said the message of strength in togetherness covers the spectrum of people affected by suicide: those going through depression and those who have had a family member commit suicide.
“There are others who understand and will walk with them,” Ferguson said.
“It’s about hope, healing and honouring. Hope for those living in despair, healing for those who have experienced despair or experienced loss and honouring the memory of those who have died by suicide.”
Journey to Hope Moose Jaw has raised over $44,000 within the community and surrounding district, and shared it within the Five Hills Health Region and both school divisions.
That sum is about to increase. The Journey to Hope walk is on Saturday at Crescent Park. Registration and pledge returns start at 10 a.m.
“The walk is just a reflective walk,” Ferguson said.
She said the walk will be once around Crescent Park, with time to contemplate the signs that will be set-up on trees.
Last year’s walk raised more than $15,000.
“We just go on hope. I know this community and I know that’s what we do,” Ferguson said. “We are so diligent on how this is spent.”
Both school divisions received anti-bullying posters for all of the schools. Bullying causes high-risks of suicides in young people. Ferguson said that awareness is growing about bullying, and addictions too.
“We’re wanting to bring awareness in our community to all the resources available, all the hope ambassadors that are out there so that there isn’t anyone who thinks ‘I have nowhere to go and no one to talk to,’” Ferguson said.
Walk pledge forms and Soles for Hope pins are available by calling 306-691-4715 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.