An event this weekend is striving to bring awareness to the problem of suicide and depression.
Now in its second year, the End The Silence, a Depression Awareness and Suicide Prevention Walk, is scheduled for Saturday at the Ludington Park Pavilion in Escanaba. It marks the end of National Suicide Prevention Week
Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. with the opening ceremony at 10 a.m. The non-competitive run/walk, which will occur rain or shine, will start at 11 a.m. with 2, 5, 10 mile route options.
End the Silence Walk is being held in remembrance of Bobby and Josh Bintner, two brothers from Delta County who completed suicide 13 years apart. Both brothers battled secretly with depression and felt that they had no other option, but to end their lives.
There are many groups and individuals working locally raise awareness and there is progress being made.
Dial Help, the Upper Peninsula's National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Center, has experienced a call increase of 70 percent over the past 12 months, compared to the previous year. The Delta County Suicide Prevention Task Force has worked hard in providing information on the signs of suicide and ensuring crisis phone numbers are out in the community. Delta County is not alone in its efforts in curtailing suicides and eliminating the stigmas associated. There are other groups in the region that are working on making a change too.
The End the Silence Walk is one of the ways local residents are making a difference.
Registration fees for the event are $25 per person and $10 per child up to 13 years old. Registration fees are waived with pledges of $50 or more; collection of pledges optional. Tax-exempt contributions are welcomed.