Walking against suicide

Over 50 people walked through Round Top Park on Saturday to raise awareness for suicide prevention.

ATHENS TOWNSHIP — Four years ago, Rose McKean lost her life because of suicide.

While her passing devastated her family, it also inspired them to rise up and fight back against suicide and raise awareness for mental health.

That’s why the Fourth Annual Valley Walk Against Suicide returned to the Round Top Park on Saturday, thanks to the work and dedication of Rose’s family.

Over 50 people and representatives from the Main Link, Tioga County and the VA also showed their dedication and support — braving the cloudy chill at the park to walk a mile or more to raise awareness.

“This event is about anyone who has ever lost anyone else to suicide,” Rose’s niece Amy Dupre said. “After our loss, we wanted to do something more. We wanted to raise awareness and try to help prevent this from happening to anyone else.”

T-shirts and sweatshirts were available at the event as well as over 90 items donated by local businesses that could be won via a raffle.

“The support has been just so overwhelming both from Valley businesses and the community,” Dupre said. “And we want other people who are struggling with these awful kinds of situations that there is help out there, and we’re always trying to do outreach to get people connected.”

Organizers strongly recommended to reach out to local organizations, such as the Main Link in Sayre and Towanda, Tioga County Suicide Prevention Coalition, and local VAs with any questions or assistance.

Johnny Williams can be reached at (570) 888-9643 ext. 232 or jwilliams@morning-times.com. Follow Johnny Williams on Twitter @johnnywMT

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