‘You Matter’

Suicide activists, survivors spread love, encouragement downtown

Sign rally

Activists for mental health and suicide awareness line the strees of downtown Bellefontaine Wednesday waving signs and handing out wristbands to motorists and pedestrians as a way to spread encouragement and provide awareness for suicide prevention. (EXAMINER PHOTO | NATE SMITH)

Dozens of mental health awareness activists from near and far lined the streets of downtown Bellefontaine Wednesday as part of a suicide prevention rally, organized by the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Logan and Champaign Counties.

The event was staged in conjunction with Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and advocates and survivors of suicide waved signs and passed out bracelets reminding passersby that, “You matter,” and that, “Your mistakes do not define you.”

Among those at Wednesday’s rally was Amanda Waples, who traveled from Hilliard to be a source of encouragement to anyone that may be struggling.

She said that prior to her brother’s suicide last year, “It didn’t occur to me that everyone is susceptible to depression/mental illness, struggling with selfworth and feeling like a burden.

“Many can hide it very well no matter the magnitude of the struggle.”