Ascension Via Christi, WSU to host Suspenders4Hope Walk on Sept. 11


Last February, Ascension Via Christi announced that it was partnering with Wichita State University in a Kohl's Cares-funded suicide awareness and prevention program. Through that partnership, WSU made its online Suspenders4Hope suicide awareness and prevention training program available communitywide.

Now, as part of their ongoing effort to support mental wellness in the community, Ascension Via Christi and WSU are hosting a 5K Run for Hope and 1-mile Walk in Honor benefitting StopSuicideICT on Saturday, Sept. 11. The event, being held during Suicide Awareness Month, will take place on WSU's campus starting with registration and check-in at 8 a.m., 5K Run for Hope at 8:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m. awards program and 10:30 1-mile Honor Walk.

There is no cost to participate, but funds are being raised for Stop SuicideICT, a local nonprofit organization that provides suicide prevention and mental health training, awareness and education. Suspenders4Hope T-shirts will be available for purchase, with a portion of the proceeds going to StopSuicideICT.

"You can register to run, walk or simply come out to show your support," says Jessica Provines, WSU's assistant vice president of Student Affairs and Wellness. "You can also find out more about Suspenders4Hope and how you can be involved with this important effort to change the community conversation about mental health and wellness."

When participants register, they'll find information about how to create a personal or team fundraising page to support this important cause."

Since Ascension Via Christi and WSU began promoting the 90-minute online Suspenders4Hope program to the community, more than 2,000 have completed the training, including more than 500 Ascension Via Christi associates and approximately 1,200 Bishop Carroll Catholic High School students and faculty.

"We are seeing the Suspenders4Hope shirts everywhere in the community these days and clearly the conversation is beginning to change to one that's more hopeful and affirming of those who struggle," says Provines.

The community's embrace of this effort is tremendously encouraging, says Robyn Chadwick, Ascension Via Christi St. Joseph hospital president and executive leader for its Behavioral Health Services. "However, we really have only just begun," she says.

To register for the walk, go to https://suspenders4hope.stopsuicideict.com/. To take the Suspenders4Hope training, go to suspenders4hope.com, scroll down to create an account, click "Take the Training" and choose "Don't have an account." Then click "Sign-up today" and choose "Community," and fill in your info and the code preventingsuicide and a link will be sent to you.