Into The Light raises suicide awareness
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.