August 11, 2023, Chesapeake Beach, MD – In 2021, a life was lost to suicide every 11 minutes in the U.S., marking it as one of the leading causes of death, as the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported. To combat these grim statistics and raise awareness, the Town of Chesapeake Beach is gearing up to host the 2nd Annual One More Light Suicide and Mental Health Awareness Walk. The event is organized in partnership with the BecomeOne Project and is scheduled for September 23, 2023, on the Chesapeake Beach Railway Trail.
At the July 20, 2023, Town Council meeting, Amanda Kirby, Project Director of the BecomeOne Project, delivered an emotional presentation to the council members and the general public. Kirby shared a personal tragedy: “7 years ago, my son Tyler took his own life. He was 16 years old.” She went on to emphasize the significance of such events in providing solace. “The BecomeOne Project has allowed me to channel my grief into helping others. The One More Light Walk is crucial to remember those we’ve lost and extend support to the countless individuals in our community battling mental health challenges. I urge everyone to join us on September 23rd in Chesapeake Beach at 6 pm. It’s an evening that promises understanding, awareness, and a deep sense of community, potentially transforming your life and that of your loved ones.”
The evening is not just about remembering the departed; it’s also about creating awareness about the tools and resources available for those in need. To bolster these efforts, the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline will be highlighted during the event. This lifeline is transitioning from the previously known National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to a more succinct three-digit dial code, 988, making it as quickly memorable as the 911 emergency medical services number. The organizers aim to underscore that help is within reach, both for those feeling vulnerable and those wanting to assist someone in distress. Here are some tips on how one can help themselves or someone else.
The One More Light Suicide and Mental Health Awareness Walk is a testament to Chesapeake Beach’s commitment to confronting the challenge head-on, reinforcing the idea that one life lost to suicide is too many.