Hundreds gathered for the 11th annual Breaking the Silence Suicide Awareness Walk on Sunday

Hundreds came together Saturday for the 11th annual Breaking the Silence Suicide Awareness Walk in Camanche.
Published: Sep. 24, 2023 at 8:26 PM CDT
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CAMANCHE, Iowa {KWQC} -- The community of Camanche came together for the 11th annual Breaking the Silence Suicide Awareness Walk.

Hundreds gathered outside of the Speak Out Against Suicide’s office in Camanche, Iowa. Names of loved ones whose lives ended too early, were read and a ceremonial walk proceeded to honor them for the 11th annual Breaking the Silence: Suicide Awareness Walk.

On Sunday, the community helped those who continue to grieve with the annual walk. Names were read amongst the crowd and those names were painted on rocks and placed in a garden, forever honoring and remembering them. The messages: you are not alone and I’m still standing, are the cries of the families who mourn their loved ones who lost their battle to suicide.

“Even though it’s sad, we all get to come together and support each other,” said some of the board members for Speak Out Against Suicide. “We get to tell stories, laugh and joke. So, it means the world to us. I feel that today is a special day, every year that I celebrate my son’s celebration of life with everybody else and all the all our other angels. That’s how we honor all our loved ones that we’ve lost. It’s just a way of keeping our sons alive.”

Walkers shut down Washington Blvd. as they made their way to the football field at Camanche High School. Posters were placed around the field honoring the family members who died. An event official says having the community rally and get the message out for suicide prevention helps saves lives.

“Just answering those messages, texts, phone calls, whatever it might be,” said Speak Out Against Suicide Outreach Coordinator, Shawn Felts. “We went from last month 38 people to find resources to this month 52. So, we never know what’s going to happen.”

If you’re facing a crisis, you are encouraged to call: 1-800-273-TALK.