SVSU sponsored Walk for Hope to promote local mental health

Share on Facebook
Tweet on Twitter

SVSU and Survivors of Suicide Inc. will come together on the campus of Northwood University on Aug. 14 to host the annual Walk for Hope, a depression and suicide awareness 5K walk/run. Registration will begin at 9 a.m. with opening remarks being given from 10:30 until 11 a.m. followed by the walk/run. Registration is free, however fundraising or donations are encouraged. All profits will be used to host local suicide prevention events such as ASIST, Yellow Ribbon, safeTALK and many more programs to work towards “zero suicides.”

The Aug. 14 event will feature live music, art activities, a rock wall, caricature drawings, 40 vendors, balloon release and other family engagements. Walk for Hope will also host a raffle with prizes such as an autographed picture from Jimmy Howard of the Detroit Red Wings, a Mackinac Island trip, a deep sea fishing trip, a Samsung Tablet, and more. Last year over 900 participated in the raffle; this year is projected to draw close to 1,000.

The event’s atmosphere is one of compassion and a sense of community that is felt by those in attendance.

“During the walk, you can feel the support, love, and hope of everyone there,” said Hailey Richards, president of Active Minds at SVSU.

Active Minds is a registered student organization (RSO) at SVSU that works closely with the Counseling Center to promote mental health awareness and erase stigmas surrounding mental illness. The RSO will be providing volunteers and will participate in planning the Walk for Hope. The event signifies the dedication of an entire community committed to promoting a more compassionate state of mind.

Through sponsoring events, encouraging student organizations and providing departmental services, SVSU and Active Minds are working towards normalizing mental health care. This encourages students to engage in help seeking and other mentally healthy behaviors. Walk for Hope is another example of this work.

“Knowing that it’s okay to ask for help is extremely important,” Richards said.

By encouraging students to practice mentally healthy behaviors, Active Minds works to develop a community that reaps the benefits associated with an academic and social community dedicated to promoting mental health.

“The community as a whole will be happier and healthier,” Richards said. “Those practicing help-seeking and stress relieving techniques will feel happier, and this will encourage others to also practice similar techniques, as well as just feel more connected.”

The Walk for Hope aims to spread awareness regarding suicide and the signs of it, as well as raise money for other suicide prevention events.

To register for the Walk for Hope, visit or Call Barb Smith at 989-781-5260.

To learn more, visit zerosuicide.sprc.