Suicide prevention walk held in Bettendorf

Published: Sep. 27, 2020 at 9:44 PM CDT
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Bettendorf, Iowa (KWQC) -

The Iowa Quad Cities chapter for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention held a walk for suicide prevention Sunday. Participants listened to speakers and walked a one-mile route around Veterans Memorial Park in Bettendorf. The event was also hosted virtually.

The event raised money for suicide prevention training with proceeds going back to the Iowa chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

The number of deaths by suicide is on the rise during the isolation of the pandemic. According to the CDC, symptoms of anxiety and depressive disorders increased considerably in the United States from April through June, compared to the same period in 2019.

Jaime Atwood, walk chair of the Iowa QC chapter, says she won’t stop fighting for loved ones.

“I lost my son three years ago and I really didn’t realize how big of an issue suicide was until that happened. It can happen to anyone and people don’t really realize that until it happens to you,” Atwood says. “People really crave interaction. I would say if you feel comfortable enough, get out there are visit with people safely. Try not to seclude yourself because seclusion leads to depression."

Many family and friends came to honor the memories of lost loved ones.

“I lost my friend Jessica Vance a year ago today to suicide. She was the most beautiful soul you could ever meet in your life. Always had a smile on her face, always had her thumbs up. She had the most positive attitude. She had a little boy, Thomas, she loved him dearly. She loved the Hawkeyes. Her favorite color was purple. She was someone you were privileged to know,” says Kendra Bright.

“There is help out there. You don’t have to struggle and you don’t have to end your life to feel better. Reach out to anyone for help. If you are struggling and see me on the street, stop me. I have all the time in the world to help someone struggling," says Bright.

“Talk through what is happening with you because someone will be there for you, I promise you,” says Atwood.

If you or a loved one is in need of help, the following resources are available. You are not alone.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Available 24/7 in English and Spanish 1-(800)-273-8255

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Family Resources

NAMI local resources

Robert Young Center 24/7 Crisis Line: 309-779-2999

Eastern Iowa Mental Health Region 24-Hour Crisis Line: 844-430-0375

Vera French

Copyright 2020 KWQC. All rights reserved.

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