COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho – New statistics about local suicide show a spike in the last five years. On Saturday, members of the community participated in the “Break the Silence” suicide awareness walk.
In 2016, there were only 25 participants in the “Break the Silence” 5k. This year, that number grew to over 400. The event hopes to end the stigma around suicide by talking about the problem.
“Kind of the new mantra is ‘Rock your role’ – your role being that of a friend,” Lora Whalen, Chair of the Suicide Prevention Action Network said, “You’re gonna be the one that recognizes some change in behavior of someone you know or love and talk to them about it. Asked the question. Break the silence.”
One of the participants of the walk was Jaime Farnsworth. Farnsworth lost her daughter, Haylee, to suicide last year. She said the suicide caused her family to turn their sadness toward a cause.
“I have to say, within us, we wanted to hide. We did, you feel the full gauntlet of emotion. Shame, regret, sadness, anger. But we knew we had to start speaking about Haylee in order to start healing,” said Jaimie Farnsworth.
Unfortunately, local numbers show many other parents are in Farnsworth’s shoes.
In the past five years, the number of suicides in Spokane County has spiked. That number grew from 70 per year to 91. Those numbers made the “Break the Silence” 5k all the more important across the Inland Northwest.
“You’re not alone. It’s okay to not be okay It’s okay to have the struggles that you’re having and the key is just finding someone to talk to about it,” Farnsworth says.
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