11th Annual STRIDE to Save Lives 5K Walk in Oswego this Saturday

OSWEGO - The Oswego County Suicide Prevention Coalition will host the 11th Annual STRIDE to Save Lives Walk to raise awareness of suicide and mental health. This event will take place in person on Saturday, Sept. 25 at Breitbeck Park in Oswego. Free registration is online through Friday. On site registration begins at 9 a.m. The program will begin following registration and check-in. Raffles will be available with proceeds to benefit the coalition. A limited number T-shirts will be available for donations of $25 or more.

The program schedule is as follows:

9-10 a.m. - Registration, check-in, raffles, service provider tables

10-10:30 a.m. - Welcome, Mayor’s Proclamation, motivational speaker, Vocal Effects performance, memorial reading of names

10:30 a.m. - Walk begins (follow volunteers on route), following walk - snacks will be available; service providers; raffles

11:25 a.m. - Last call for raffle ticket sales

11:30 a.m. - Raffle winners drawn and announced

The following service providers are scheduled to have staff and information under a large tent in the park: Counseling & Healing Arts, Desens House, Farnham Family Services, Oswego County Suicide Prevention Coalition, Oswego County Opportunities, OCO Crisis & Development Services, Oswego County Health Department, Oswego Hospital Behavioral Health, SUNY Oswego Counseling Center, VOW Foundation, Youth Creating Change Coalition (YC3) and the Oswego County Prevention Coalition, the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau with AmeriCorps.

Vocal Effects will once again sing an acapella song. The memorial portion will include reading of the names of those who completed suicide. Provide names at the registration/check-in table. Refreshments and raffles will be available. The 5K route is mapped out which goes around the park with an alternative shorter route; maps will be available.

The annual event has been a part of the community for 11 years, having been held at SUNY Oswego for nine with a virtual event last year. This event brings together mental health advocates, prevention organizations, survivors, allies and community members to unite and raise awareness of suicide prevention. Holding the event in-person is an important part of suicide awareness and prevention during this challenging year and Breitbeck Park in Oswego was an ideal site. Hand sanitizer as well as masks will be available.

Stigma remains a prominent barrier to individuals seeking help when they are experiencing thoughts of suicide. According to research by the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention, suicide is the second leading cause of death in young people ages of 10-24 and is the 10th leading cause of death overall in the United States. The Oswego County Suicide Prevention Coalition wants to remind Oswego County residents that they are not alone in their struggle.

The Oswego County Suicide Prevention Coalition is made up of invested community members and stakeholders who are passionate about mental health and suicide awareness. If interested in joining the coalition or have questions about the event or registration, contact (315) 529-0360, or email preventioncoalitionstaff@gmail.com for more information. To donate, follow https://www.nfggive.com/donation/30-0788359. Donations are tax-deductible through the VOW Foundation.

Anyone struggling with their mental health or thoughts of suicide, call the Suicide Prevention Line (800) 273-8255 (talk) or text HOME to 741-741. Liberty Resources Mobile Crisis Team is available in Oswego County by calling (315) 251-0800.

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