Bridge the Gap Suicide Awareness and Prevention Walk
CLARKSTON, WA —
More than 100 people in Clarkston walked to end the stigma surrounding suicide and raise awareness to prevent it.
"Here in region 2 of Idaho through the five-county region, we've traditionally had the highest rates in Idaho,” said Steve Button, SPAN Idaho.
Suicide rates aren’t just high in our region, it’s the seventh leading cause of death in all of Idaho, and the eighth leading cause in Washington.
"We're trying to bridge the gap between suicide and awareness through education,” said Dan Maurer, Let’s Bridge The Gap organizer.
Dan Maurer said if that gap can be filled, then hopefully suicide can be prevented.
"I don't want anybody else to ever have to go through this,” Maurer said. “That would be my goal. Is that nobody has to go through what we've gone through."
For Dan, Let’s Bridge The Gap Suicide Awareness Walk is personal. Almost four years ago his daughter Devin died by suicide. She was 17-years-old.
"It just made us to where we didn't want to come out in public,” he said. “We thought we were always going to have bad luck. It changed who I was."
That’s why he organized the walk, which is now in its third year.
"I think a lot of people have this picture of a life with a white picket fence around it,” Maurer said. “Life's hard. Life's hard and we need to teach our kids that life's hard. Even though you may struggle or fail, it's going to be ok."
The event had speakers who were close with the issue.
"We need to let them know that if they have these thoughts and feelings that that's ok,” said Button. “It's ok to talk about it, we need to let them know that they're not alone. That they have people who care about them who will talk with them."
Maurer said almost everyone that attended the walk is somehow related to suicide, and that number is too high.
If you or someone who know has suicidal thoughts, don’t be afraid to call the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline at 208-398-HELP.