Atlantic — Cass Health’s Senior Life Solutions team is hosting a free community walk in support of Suicide Awareness Month on Wednesday, Sept. 29, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Rotary Shelter at the Schildberg Recreation Area. The event is being co-hosted by Healthy Cass County and Cass County Iowa State University Extension.

“We welcome participants of all ages to join us to show support for those who have been impacted by suicide. Showing up to community events like this is one small way that each of us can help normalize mental health care and show our neighbors that we’re here for them,” said Karmen Roland, RN, Program Director of Senior Life Solutions.

The event will kick-off at 6:30 p.m. with local speakers, Noelle Whitney and Christal Sullivan, who will share their story on how suicide has touched their lives. The walk portion of the evening will begin around 7 p.m. Participants will walk the trail loop at the Schildberg Recreation Area. Information about mental health services and community resources as well as light refreshments will be available at the Rotary Shelter.

"People across the county identified mental health as the number one health need in the recent Community Health Needs Assessment. It's so important to have events like this where we can come together and show our support. It's OK to not be OK. We want to end the stigma in Cass County," said Brigham Hoegh, Cass County Wellness Coordinator.

For community members who would like to contribute their own experiences and stories about how suicide has impacted their lives, an anonymous form is available at casshealth.org/suicideawarenessevent “We want to share stories from our own community members. We’ll post their comments on the night of the event for all participants to read, but we will keep it anonymous,” said Roland.

For more information, go to casshealth.org or check out the Facebook event.

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