The mayors of three Iredell County towns have come together in a shared fight.
Statesville Mayor Costi Kutteh, Mooresville Mayor Mayor Miles Atkins and Troutman Mayor Teross Young recently united to issue a proclamation designating next week, Sept. 8 – 14, as Suicide Prevention week in their communities.
Suicide is the 10th-leading cause of death in the United States, a news release stated. The intent of the week is to work to prevent it.
Volunteers from Statesville, Mooresville, Hickory, Troutman and surrounding areas are joining others who are walking in towns across the United States to draw attention to the fight for suicide prevention.
The annual Central Piedmont Out of the Darkness Community Walk will be held at 9 a.m. Oct. 5 at the Statesville High School stadium. This walk supports the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s education and support programs and its bold goal to reduce the annual U.S. rate of suicide 20 percent by the year 2025.
“Suicide touches one in five American families. We are grateful for the work that the volunteers with AFSP are doing in our local communities. We are hopeful that through their events such as this walk that attention is drawn to a very critical issue. The continual efforts of AFSP will help all of us in saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide,” Kutteh said.
The Central Piedmont Out of the Darkness Community Walk is one of more than 550 Out of the Darkness overnight, community and campus walks being held nationwide this year. The walks are expected to unite more than 300,000 walkers and raise millions for suicide prevention efforts.
Last year, these walks raised more than $21 million for suicide prevention, a release states.
Locally, the walk last year raised nearly $32,000 and had more than 200 participants, the release stated.
“These walks are about turning hope into action,” AFSP CEO Robert Gebbia stated in a release. “The research has shown us how to fight suicide, and if we keep up the fight, the science is only going to get better and our culture will get smarter about mental health. With the efforts of our courageous volunteers, and a real investment from our nation’s leaders, we hope to significantly reduce the suicide rate in the United States.”
Local sponsors include Iredell Health System, Davis Regional Medical Center, Piedmont Healthcare, Purple Heart Homes, Iredell-Statesville Schools, Mooresville Graded Schools, Children’s Hope Alliance, Randy Marion Automotive Group, and World of Windows, among others. Those interested in walking or donating should visit AFSP.org/centralpiedmont.