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Suicide Prevention Task Force to hold walk/run/bike fundraiser
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The Suicide Prevention Task Force, a sub-committee of the Central Kansas Partnership, will hold a Walk/Run/Bike Fundraiser on Sept. 28 to create awareness and raise funds for education and community awareness.
The cost to enter the two mile walk, 5K run, or 25 mile bike ride is $25. The walk and run will be timed and medals awarded for the top three finishers in those two categories.
Check-in is at 6:30 a.m. at Barton Community College soccer field with the race beginning at 7 a.m.
“We’re hoping to have a good turn-out,” said Mary Waite, committee chair.
Following the exercise, there will be an award’s ceremony  and a remembrance ceremony, beginning at 9:30 a.m. Kelsey Glynn and Sharon Engle will share personal stories and those who have died will be remembered.
The SPTF has been in existence for about a year-and-a-half and this is the second event the group has held.
The group hopes to decrease the number of suicide cases and suicide attempts in the community by recognizing people in distress and assisting them in getting help.
The SPTF is “open to new people joining,” said Waite. For more information, contact Waite or Janel Rose at the Barton County Health Department,  793-1902. Register online at
Last year, Dr. Jason Deselms, suicide prevention coordinator for the VA Hospital and city of Wichita, spoke to area residents about this issue. “Always Ask, Always Act,” he said at that time. “It takes community effort. Break the silence; it can’t just be about professionals.”
“Suicide is the attempt to deal with unrelenting emotional/physical pain,” said Deselms. “The suicide mind set is in this life it is not difficult to die. It is more difficult to live.
“This mind set develops over a period of time,” he said. “Attend to your neighbors, friends and relatives.”
Dr. Deselms said that if you are concerned about somebody, always ask them if they are considering suicide. He said if the answer is yes, don’t leave them alone and seek immediate help. Locally help would be available through The Center for Counseling and Consultation or by calling 911.
He also recommends letting them know you care and that you are there to help.