Into The Light raises sui­cide aware­ness

The Glengarry News - - News - BY SCOTT CARMICHAEL News Staff

The sec­ond an­nual Into the Light sun­rise walk in sup­port of sui­cide aware­ness takes place this Satur­day, May 4 at Lamoureux Park in Corn­wall, be­tween 5:30 and 7:30 a.m.

The event – which ben­e­fits the Com­mu­nity Addiction and Men­tal Health Cen­tre at Corn­wall Com­mu­nity Hos­pi­tal – is held to help shed some light on the importance of sui­cide aware­ness and preven­tion.

Joanne Ha­ley, co-chair­per­son and or­ga­nizer for the walk, ex­plained this week how she be­came in­volved in the event.

“‘Into the Light’ was an idea of Lianne Acres-Hanna (a former three-term North Stor­mont coun­cil­lor), fol­low­ing the death of my son Ryan by sui­cide on May 1, 2016,” Mrs. Ha­ley, a Mon­k­land res­i­dent, told The News this week.

“Lianne was deeply touched by the com­mu­nity sup­port fol­low­ing Ryan’s death (at the age of 16) and wanted to do some­thing lo­cally to rec­og­nize vic­tims of sui­cide and to bring aware­ness to sui­cide preven­tion.”

Mrs. Ha­ley added that she and her hus­band, Bob, were proud to as­sist in cre­at­ing the Into the Light walk, and are hope­ful it and sim­i­lar ini­tia­tives will en­cour­age peo­ple to be­come more com­fort­able in dis­cussing such a sen­si­tive is­sue.

“It is not easy to ad­mit that your son has taken his own life and it is not easy to talk about it,” said Mrs. Ha­ley.

“Ev­ery day we feel guilt and wish we could have saved our son, but we be­lieve it is some­thing we can­not hide and ig­nore.

“We hope that talk­ing about it and mak­ing an ef­fort to make a dif­fer­ence will per­haps save a life.”

Walk­ers in this Satur­day’s walkathon – sched­uled to be­gin at 5:30 (sharp) in the morn­ing to al­low par­tic­i­pants to walk into the sun­rise, sym­bol­iz­ing that those who have been in a dark place can be brought into the light – are en­cour­aged to walk the five-kilo­me­tre course either in memory of a loved one who lost their life to sui­cide, or in the name of sui­cide preven­tion aware­ness.

Pr­ereg­is­tra­tion for the event can be done at www.corn­wall­hos­pi­tal­foun­da­tion.com, while reg­u­lar reg­is­tra­tion starts at 5 a.m. on Satur­day in the park, at the band­shell out­side the Corn­wall Civic Com­plex. The cost is a $20 do­na­tion. Chil­dren un­der 12 years of age can par­tic­i­pate for free.

The in­au­gu­ral edi­tion of the event last year raised more than $4,300.

Visit tinyurl.com/y36zyd62 for fur­ther de­tails about the 2019 edi­tion.

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