The city’s children invite parents and adults to participate in a week full of events intended to build bridges among people over the topic of depression.
September is National Suicide Awareness Month.
It’s not a matter of "if" but "when" a person will have the opportunity to deal with their own depression, or that of others so "you have to talk about suicide and depression," said Richard Falcon, program coordinator at Compass Behavioral Health, 506 Ave. L, and chairman of the Yellow Ribbon Coalition.
The Yellow Ribbon Coalition is dedicated to the prevention of suicide.
"Depression affects everyone," he said. "You can be the most well-to-do and highest achieving kid in class and still have the disease of depression."
In the last decade 57 have killed themselves in Ford County, according to statistics provided by Compass.
Of the 10 people who died by their own hands inn 2018, three were teenagers.
Almost all suicides are preventable through treatment, Falcon said. "The more you talk about it the more it helps kids and teens understand they can ask for help."
But Falcon said it’s hard to reach adults.
"Parents are the missing link," he said.
Sunday is survivors’ day at the First United Methodist Church, 210 Soule Street, at 5 p.m., to remember those lost to suicide.
Monday Wright Park will be the site of a candlelight vigil at 6 p.m. to spread the light of prevention and awareness to the entire community. Hamburgers and fixings will be available for the first 200 people in attendance.
The middle school teen group HEART invites everyone to join them Tuesday at noon to chalk positive messages and art around town.
Also at noon on Tuesday is the Dodge City Community College positive pinwheel project.
Wednesday at 7 p.m. is youth night at the Dodge City Family YMCA, 240 San Jose Drive.
All teens and youth groups are welcome to celebrate God’s love, life and the fight to end suicide in our communities.
Thursday the Family Care Clinic, 200 W. Ross Blvd., balloon release will take place at 5:50 p.m., in honor of those lost to suicide. Shortly following, Freddy’s Frozen Custard, 1800 W. Wyatt Earp Blvd., invites customers from 6 to 9 p.m. to help raise money for the Ford County Suicide Prevention Coalition with the purchase of their food.
On Friday all area football game attendees are encouraged to participate in a "yellow out" by wearing the color yellow. Give aways and resources will be distributed by Ford County Suicide Prevention Coalition, among other groups.
At 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, the 6th annual Alive & Running 5K walk/run will begin at the YMCA.
To register, or for more information, call Compass Behavioral Health at 620-227-8566.