Kiesler Wellness Center Holds Annual “Walk for Life” for Suicide Awareness in Grand Rapids
It’s a topic many groups are working to remove the stigma around: suicide. One such group is the Kiesler Wellness Center in Grand Rapids with their annual Walk for Life event.
Suicide is something many people have dealt with in their lives. The Kiesler Wellness Center is aiming to be a support system for those and many others with their annual walk. This was the sixth time the event was held, which sees continual growth year after year.
“If you don’t know someone that’s been affected by suicide, you know somebody else that has,” said first year participant Jesse Larcom. “What a better way to honor them then come here and join these people and walk with all these other people that also lost somebody to suicide?”
“It’s happening. And people need to realize that we need to get the word out there,” said Kiesler Wellness Center Peer Support Specialist/Mental Health Practitioner Mike Garner. “We need to support people that are really struggling.”
The walk has become a community staple in Grand Rapids over its six years, reaching groups outside of the wellness center.
“In a smaller county like Itasca County, it’s important for public figures to show their support for these events to gather interest,” explained Itasca County Sheriff Joe Dasovich.
Along with raising awareness of suicide, the walk opens the doors to talking about the issue as well, fighting against the stigma surrounding it.
“It makes it easier for people to go in and talk when they see other people out there proudly supporting this,” said Larcom. “Showing their weaknesses and their vulnerability, and that we have the support out there.”
The next Walk for Life will be on September 14, 2024.