From 2016 to 2020, 206 Orange and Durham County community members lost their lives to suicide. Throughout the month of September, the Orange County Health Department and Durham County Department of Public Health will host events to support survivors, to share how to recognize the signs and symptoms of suicide, and to teach what to do if a loved one is in danger. Events include:
Adult Mental Health First Aid Training for the Community: On Friday, Sept. 16, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Whitted Human Services Center at 300 W. Tryon St., Hillsborough. This training is for community members, family members, friends, students and other people who have been affected by suicide or want to prevent suicide. The training will cover common signs and symptoms of mental health and substance abuse challenges as well as how to connect people with help. The training is free, and lunch is included. Please register at this link: https://www.orangecountync.gov/MHFA
Adult Mental Health First Aid Training for Professional Partners: On Friday, Sept. 23, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Whitted Human Services Center at 300 W. Tryon St., Hillsborough. This training is for employers, police officers, hospital staff, first responders, public health workers, local government staff, and school employees who want to learn to identify, understand, and respond to the signs of mental health and substance use challenges. The training is free, and lunch is included. Please register at this link: https://www.orangecountync.gov/MHFA-Partners
A Path for Hope: Suicide Prevention and Awareness Walk: On Thursday, Sept. 29, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Leigh Farm Park located at 370 Leigh Farm Road, Durham NC 27707. The event is hosted by Orange County Health Department, Durham County Department of Public Health, Alliance Health, Insight Humans Services and Healthy Carolinians of Orange County. Prior to the walk, community members will gather to hear featured speaker Rwenshaun Miller, who believes that mental wellness begins with a conversation. Miller is an award-winning psychotherapist whose personal mission is to shift our society into one that acknowledges, addresses and treats mental health challenges. Miller is the Founder and Executive Director of Eustress, Inc., a non-profit based in North Carolina.
At the walk, 206 pairs of shoes will be on display to honor the 206 Durham and Orange County community members who lost their lives to suicide from 2016 to 2020. Gently used shoes, which will be donated after the event to those in need, are needed in advance of the event. To donate shoes or for questions about the walk, email Willa Robinson Allen at firstname.lastname@example.org for Durham County or Ashley Rawlinson at email@example.com for Orange County or call (919) 245-2440.