Silent reflection

A Silent Reflection Walk is being planned for Sunday, Sept. 22, for the benefit of the local Community Suicide Prevention Team’s efforts as well as activities for area youth.

Organized by Sheila Rico, the walk will begin with registration at 4 p.m. on Sept. 22 at the First Presbyterian Church at 101 Mulberry Ave. in Fayetteville. Registration will be followed by an invocation at 6 p.m. and the walk at 6:15 p.m.

Registration will be donation based, Rico said, noting that donations of $5 and up may be made online. Every participant will receive a bottle of water and a dog tag with the Silent Reflection Walk logo and the Suicide Prevention Network’s phone number.

“Our message is that the Son of God is faithfully with you, just as the sun that was created in the beginning of time,” Rico said. “Even the darkest of days will be filled with light again.”

The event will be a two-mile silent walk with no pets, cell phones, or music, she noted, adding that it will be a time for people to reflect on their own lives and the lives that have been lost. The walk will extend from the church, down College Street across the square and around Rose Hill Cemetery, circling back along Washington Street.

In 2018, 20 Lincoln Countians – from ages 11 to 81 – ended their own lives, making for a suicide rate here that’s nearly five times the national average, an epidemic of hopelessness that members of the Community Suicide Prevention Team are determined to reduce.

Advised by the non-profit SAM Foundation, the team is comprised of local counselors, clergy, teachers, medical professionals and people whose families have been affected by suicide. The group is meeting regularly to define the local problem and to develop and implement a plan to get ahead of it.