Community walks for hope on Sunday
Hope Walk Manawatu¯ will host another community walk on Sunday at 1pm.
The 3km walk will take place through the leafy trails of the Victoria Esplanade Gardens, and along the Manawatu¯ riverside walkway.
The Hope Walk Suicide Prevention Movement was started in Auckland in 2016, as a response to New Zealand’s high suicide statistics — which leave behind an even higher number of bereaved family, friends and coworkers. Since then, many cities throughout New Zealand have started their own volunteer-run prevention walks. Palmerston North’s first Hope Walk was held in March last year and 300 people joined the walk.
This year the community will be joined by actor and TV’s 7 Days regular, Cori Gonzalez-Macuer, who will be helping to spread the suicide awareness and prevention message at the Palmerston North event.
Hope Walk Manawatu¯ organiser Katina Hughes said the walk was to let those people who were struggling or grieving to know they were not alone.
“Hope Walk events offer families and individuals affected by suicide a place to connect with their community.
“The purpose of these walks is all about support, healing and breaking the stigma and shame associated with asking for help.
Katina said statistics showed that without adequate support, those bereaved by suicide were at higher risk for depression and anxiety themselves.
Katina lost a brother to suicide in 2009 and says the community connection is so important to combat the isolation that is felt when we are struggling.
The Palmerston North City Councilsupported event will start and finish inside the Victoria Esplanade Gardens Park Rd entrance. Participants are asked to meet at 1pm and wear yellow — the colour of hope.
More information is on the HopeWalk Manawatu¯ Facebook page. www.facebook.com/hopewalkmanawatu