9/14/2013 6:16 PM
by Joe Hellriegel
RAINELLE - According to the West Virginia Council for the prevention of suicide it is estimated that one person dies every 15.2 minutes because of suicide. One local organization is trying to reduce those statistics and save lives.
Hope Coalition of Greenbrier County is a suicide prevention organization. Each year they host a community walk to raise awareness regarding signs of suicide and available resources.
"Our mission being that individuals will reach out to those that may be considering taking their life and prevent that individual and their families from having that loss," said Marcie Vaughan of the Hope Coalition.
This year mayors from across Greenbrier County proclaimed September 14th as suicide prevent and awareness day.
"We actually have proclamations that have been entered by Greenbrier County board of education, our county commission and the mayors of Lewisburg, Ronceverte, Rainelle, Quinwood and Rupert all joined the Hope Coalition in claiming today as suicide prevention and awareness day," said Vaughan.
Family members and loved ones who lost someone to suicide spoke at the suicide prevention and awareness day sharing stories and words of encouragement during difficult times.
"It was an awakening for me, in the people that you see and listen to the stories and what can be done and what can help, but to give that person a special hug nobody knows what people go through and this had been an awakening," said Mayor of Rainelle Andrea Pendleton.
Messages to loved ones are written on balloons before releasing them to the sky.
"If you know somebody, as a survivor please just give them a little hug a kiss, that's what today is representing. And an awakening for me for suicide," said Pendleton.