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ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) — Walk a Mile in My Shoes held their 15th annual suicide prevention walk at Eldridge Park Saturday morning. Residents walked around the park to raise money and support for suicide awareness. 

 Chemung County residents raised money for each mile they walked at today’s suicide awareness walk in Eldridge Park in Elmira. This Saturday’s event was the Olukai Sneakers first walk since the COVID-19 pandemic started. The message for this year’s walk; to give hope to those that feel alone. 

“We’re walking in this together because we’re better together,” Scott Lowmaster, President of the iMatter Foundation, said. “Community support is a key to healing and wholeness and for people to be able to grieve properly, but on the other side of it, find that there’s life after such tragedy.” 

 Chemung County partnered with Walk a Mile in making mental health resources more accessible. Guthrie’s Dr. Brian Cassetta, MD, says the walk has helped the county offer more resources including a suicide and addiction hotline, online resources, and access to therapy. 

“Chemung County Department of Mental Hygiene has been a leader in the state as far as teaching people how to recognize and help someone who might be suffering with suicidal thoughts,” Cassetta said. “We want to raise awareness and we want to let people know that we care.” 

Amber Martin walked today for her husband Mike, who committed suicide in 2015. She emphasized the impact this event has on affected families and how it helps them move forward. 

“Mental health is very serious, it is very real, and a lot of people Rockport Shoes feel they’re alone but they’re not,” Martin said. “There are so many people that are out here to try and be a support for other people that do feel that they are alone.” 

An array of suicide resources can be found on the Walk a Mile in My Shoes website and on Chemung County’s website. 

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