Local organizations come together to spread the word that help is here.
United Counseling Service (UCS) and Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), part of Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC), are leading a community-wide charge to spread awareness about suicide prevention at a new event: “Walk and Talk for Suicide Prevention Awareness.” The event is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, September 7 at the pavilion of the Vermont Veteran’s Home at 325 North Street in Bennington.
“Suicide is a risk for so many, especially veterans and teens,” said Alya Reeve, MD, medical director for UCS.” We want to bring the topic out in to the open and spread the message that help is here.”
The aim of this event is to draw the community together in a show of support for those who are struggling, share the signs that someone close to you is considering suicide, and provide helpful information about what to do.
The event will kick off with resources, refreshments, and brief inspirational remarks before the walk itself, which is about 2 miles long. All are welcome to participate in all or a portion of the walk. The walk will go across the Veteran’s home campus turn south on Park Street, east on County Street, and north on North Branch before returning west via a nature trail that follows the Roaring Branch Walloomsac Brook back to the Veteran’s Home.
“The route encircles the Veteran’s Home and the Mount Anthony Union High School,” Reeve said. “We hope our message of help and hope reach the veterans, students, and the entire community. You are not alone.”
September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. In addition to UCS, SVMC, and the Vermont Veteran’s Home, participating organizations include the Alliance for Community Transformations, Bennington Police Department, Bennington Rescue Squad, the Bennington Sheriff’s Department, and the Vermont Suicide Prevention Center. Additional participation from area organizations is welcome.
The event is completely free. No registration is necessary. Free refreshments will be served. Support for the event is provided through Charlie’s Fund and the Gregory S. Hillman Fund, both of UCS.
United Counseling Service is a private, non-profit community mental health center serving Bennington County since 1958. UCS promotes healthy lifestyles through all its programs and offers care at 15 different facilities, including two primary outpatient facilities in Bennington and Manchester. UCS provides comprehensive, community-based behavioral and developmental services for children, adults, families, and seniors. UCS employs 300 people and annually serves nearly 3,000 Bennington County residents. For more information visit www.ucsvt.org.
Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) is a comprehensive, preeminent, health care system providing exceptional, convenient, and affordable care to the communities of Bennington and Windham Counties of Vermont, eastern Rensselaer and Washington Counties of New York, and northern Berkshire County in Massachusetts. SVHC includes Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center, the Centers for Living and Rehabilitation, and the SVHC Foundation. SVMC includes 25 primary and specialty care practices. For more information, visit svhealthcare.org.