Community stages Walk for Life at high school track today

Saturday, Nov. 9—According to the county medical examiner’s office, nine Ramonans died by suicide in 2012. One was a 13-year-old eighth-grader at Olive Peirce Middle School.

Among 5- to 14-year-olds, suicide is the fifth leading cause of death. Among 15- to 24-year-olds, suicide is the third leading cause of death. The fastest-growing group completing suicide is children between the ages of 10 and 14. This rate has doubled in the past two decades.

In an effort to raise awareness about suicide prevention and issues contributing to the mental health of youth, a group of Ramonans will coordinate the 5th Annual Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Walk for Life at the Ramona High School football field, 1401 Hanson Lane, on Saturday, Nov. 9, from 4 to 7 p.m. Registration begins at 3:30 p.m. There is no registration fee to participate in the free event.

Proceeds from the event will provide programs in Ramona schools that address bullying, mental health issues, stress reduction and team building among students.

Door prize drawings, food and drinks for purchase and face painting will be available. A reflection area will allow participants to write messages of hope, post pictures and poems on the Memory Wall.

Walkers will have the opportunity to decorate memory tea light bags with written messages. The bags will light the football field at sunset. Memory beads of different colors are available to wear that represent various issues experienced personally about suicide.

Among those participating in the event will be Ramona High’s Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps color guard, guest speakers, Miss Junior Teen California and Ramona student Olivia Jensen, three rock bands, the middle school jazz band, and Zumba instruction. Organizations providing information and resources of help will include McAlister Institute, Aurora Behavioral Health, North County Health Services, North Inland Community Prevention Program, Vista Hill SmartCare, San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and Ramona Fire Department.

“Our goal is to provide resources and training in our community for youth and their families, to reduce the risk of losing another child to the tragedy of suicide,” Ramona resident Nancy Roy, a Palomar Health Community Action Council liaison, said.

For more information, contact Kristina Krohne, Sun Valley PTA president, at kristinakrohne@gmail.com.

Check donations may be made payable to Sun Valley PTA. Mailing address: Olive Peirce Middle School, Attn: Michele Mauney, 1521 Hanson Lane, Ramona, CA 92065.

   
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