Save a Life Today (SALT) has scheduled its annual suicide prevention walk today at the Carthage Junior High School track. Registration starts at 8 a.m., with the walk beginning at 8:30.
The walk aims to raise awareness and bring hope, said founder and chairwoman Diana Bonds.
“In Texas right now, there’s still a suicide every two hours,” Bonds said. “National average is every 12 minutes. So it’s good to be below average at this point with these statistics, but it’s like, times are really dramatic and almost corrosive right now on people, so once again, we want to give people hope. We want to make them aware. We want to educate them.
“If you think something’s going on with somebody, this is what you look for,” Bonds said. “There’s actually signs and things that you can look for along the way. Activity always helps, so that’s why we do the walks — it’s something very active.”
Bonds stressed that the walk this morning is meant to be just that — a walk.
“This is not a run,” Bonds said. “I only run if something really big is chasing me. This is not a run, and I don’t care if people come and sit in a lawn chair and visit. It doesn’t matter to me. We just want to know we’re there for each other.”
Before the walk, Bonds said there will be an opportunity for any of the attendees to talk.
“We’re gonna open it up for a few minutes for anybody who has been through this and has found a way to turn a terrible tragedy into a positive and just let people that are there come to share their stories,” she said. “Which is what we’re kind of all about anyway... My little sister took her life, and I got back here and I’m like ‘No, we gotta do something.’ So I’m just one story. Like how many people have a story? Everybody’s just in a different stage of their story, that’s all.”
Bonds said the walk helps bring people together.
“It’s a support group,” she said. “It’s like, you think sometimes when you go through things — and not just suicide, but so many things — you think that you’re totally alone, you know? And all of a sudden you look around and you’re like, oh my gosh, there’s somebody that just went through this, maybe I can help them. ”