MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – A local organization held its third annual “Hike for Hope” suicide prevention walk at Cooper’s Rock State Forest.
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention West Virginia Chapter raised awareness for suicide prevention on Saturday. Over 100 people were in attendance to support this cause.
Executive Board Member Kelli Talbott stated they do this walk each year to save lives.
“Were supporting those who struggle to stay and were here to support those who have lost loved ones to suicide,” explained Talbott.
Before the hike, the A.F.S.P had an honor bead ceremony where participants grabbed different color beads that represented the person that they lost and hear stories from individuals who lost loved ones.
This year the A.F.S.P. added a butterfly activity where participants could write a message to their loved ones and three ribbons wish poles, where participants collect ribbons that correlate with their beads and tie them around one of the three poles.
WV Chapter Chair, Cindy Stagg said they added the ribbon poles to make the hike a little more of a personal thing.
“It’s something they can actively do instead of just where the colors,” explained Stagg. “They can kind of process through some of their grief and some of their pain and maybe find some healing.”
A.F.S.P.’s mission statement is to raise hope, awareness and support to save lives.
“We want to bring talking about mental health and the struggles that people have out of the darkness,” said Stagg. “We want it to be normalized.”