Local group to put on suicide prevention event in Jenks for first time
Thirteen years ago, Robin LeBlanc started the “Out of the Darkness Suicide Prevention Walk” in Tulsa after the death of her son, Tyler.
For the first time in its history, the annual Suicide Prevention Walk will take place right here in Jenks Sept. 26 at the Riverwalk Crossing.
Heather Borsuk and Jennifer Palmer, who both lost their sisters to suicide have joined the team this year to help LeBlanc.
“People have lost their jobs and have been in isolation,” Borsuk said. “All of that has caused a huge surge in suicides. People need to be together. In Jenks, we are going to take the precautionary measures to make sure people are feeling comfortable. Volunteers will wear masks and gloves. Masks are not required for the walk, but you are welcome to wear one if you would like. Masks will be offered at the event.”
Borsuk said safety will most definitely be a priority at the event.
“Whatever is going to make people comfortable,” Borsuk said. “We want to make it as safe as possible for people to actually physically be there because that is the whole point of the walk, is to know you are not alone and have a place to go and a place to get resources.”
Registration for the walk will begin at 8 a.m. There will be two waves of walks. The first wave will walk from 10 a.m. to noon and the second from noon to 2 p.m.
The main ceremony with the three guest speakers will take place between the two waves of walks around noon.
The Mental Health Association of Oklahoma, a military chaplain, Hope is Oxygen and other resources from local and national suicide prevention groups will be there in support.
September is National Suicide Awareness Month across the nation.
“There is a lot of support and a lot of resources we want to make available to the public,” Borsuk said. “My story is I actually ended up back in Tulsa after my sister died by suicide three years ago. It changed my life forever. I have tried to use my pain to make a difference and help save lives. It’s not the story you want to be telling, but the more vocal we are about it, the more we can do to help people, who are struggling.”
The event is free to participate, but it is a fundraiser and donations are welcome. All the money raised will go to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to help the fight against suicide. Donations are accepted through Dec. 31.