By Laura BoydSeptember 5, 2019
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. -- Knowing anyone who has lost a friend or loved one to suicide can give a feeling of helplessness and despair. Blanchfield Army Community Hospital, the Fort Campbell Army Community Service and Morale, Welfare, and Recreation have partnered together to offer a "Light Up The Night" post-wide candlelight walk and vigil, Sept. 12 at 7:30 p.m. in the hospital's parking lot, between the A and C Entrances of the hospital.
This event offers hope and encouragement to anyone struggling with suicidal thoughts or who has lost a friend or loved one to suicide. The event is open to everyone.
"We encourage everyone within the community to come out and support the walk," said 1st Lt. Anthony Priest, BACH social work intern who organized this year's event. "We will have an array of support at the event if anyone needs to talk or seek help. The event is organized in such a way to show there is hope available when we feel despair or alone. We want everyone who attends the event to leave understanding the support network they have available and feel encouraged about remembering the individuals who have lost their lives to suicide."
Individuals attending the event are encouraged to arrive early as the event officially kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Electric lanterns will be posted along the walking path but participants may bring their own flashlights to help light up the night. In addition to the candlelit walk, a guest speaker will address the audience and a moment of silence will be offered, remembering individuals who have lost their lives to suicide. After the completion of the walk, live music will be available. The event is hosted during Suicide Prevention Week, which is Sept. 8 -- 14. The event will continue if it rains; therefore, appropriate rain gear is encouraged. The event will be cancelled if unsafe weather conditions arise.
Active duty Soldiers attending the event will receive credit for their annual suicide prevention training, according to Priest.
"All are invited to include individuals hurting and individuals who want to offer support to others. We encourage you to bring friends, your family and colleagues and help us offer encouragement and hope in a time when suicide continues to rise. We want to do everything we can to let individuals know there is support available and to reach out to a professional or friend in times of need," said Priest.