Provided by Daniel Dereberry
On May 12, students at Forest Park High School in Woodbridge will host the Suicide Awareness Walk.
The walk will begin at Forest Park High School (15721 Forest Park Drive, Woodbridge) at 8:30 a. m., and participants will walk along Spriggs Road to C.D. Hylton High School and back (a bit more than six miles).
The Suicide Awareness Walk was started in 2015 to raise awareness for various mental health issues and has occurred annually since then. Every year, almost 45,000 Americans commit suicide, and it’s estimated over 1.3 million Americans attempt suicide. The third leading cause of death in 15 to 24-year-olds is suicide, and it’s the tenth leading cause of death overall. With proper treatment and real discussion, this issue is totally preventable. By walking, the community unites and raises awareness about the prevalence of suicide.
Forest Park students are working to educate and energize the local community to help them come together to stand against suicide. Featured speakers at the walk include U.S. Representative Gerry Connolly, Virginia Senator Jeremy McPike, and Virginia Secretary of Education Atif Qarni.
At the walk, students will be available to talk with participants about suicide and mental health, and counseling will be available to those who need it. Additionally, water and breakfast bars will be provided free of charge ahead of the walk, and more water will be available along the walking route. The walk is organized by Forest Park High School’s AP Government Students, with additional support from the SCA, JROTC, school administration, and sponsors.