Suicide awareness event to be held in Washington Saturday

By Gretchen Teske, The JOURNAL


Raising awareness and opening the door for conversation is the goal for Kyrra Wenger-Miller, organizer for the benefit fundraiser for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Wenger-Miller and her brother hosted a similar event in 2013, but have recently been reminded through news stories and personal situations how important raising awareness and speaking up about the topic can be.

As a Mid-Prairie student, she hosted a smiliar event for a school project. ?We did it for a sociology project where we had to focus on a social issue,? she said. The hope was that the event would become annual, but after she went to college and the birth of her child, the timing never seemed to work out. About a year ago she lost a friend to suicide and decided there was no better time than the present to raise awareness. ?This still is an issue in this area and we need to keep addressing that until it changes,? she said.

The event will take place on Sunday, Sept. 2, at Optimae LifeServices in Washington, beginning at 2 p.m. Wenger-Miller says her goal for the fundraiser is to not only raise awareness, but ease the stress and taboo around the topic. ?People take their own lives for a variety of reasons, but suicide is 100 percent preventable and it doesn?t need to get that far,? she says. ?The more we talk about it, the more people will talk about it.?

There will be a silent auction as well as games and guest speakers to talk about their history with suicide.

Wenger-Miller?s goal for participants is to feel empowered in knowledge and ability to help someone effected by or considering suicide.

?Knowledge is definitely power in this because the sooner they can get help, the sooner they can get better and the less chance they will get to drastic measures,? she said.

Anyone wishing to donate items or volunteer for the event can contact Kyrra Wenger-Miller at: