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Chilliwack residents help to 'cycle around the globe' for suicide prevention

World Suicide Prevention Day events are planned in Chilliwack at Sto:lo Nation on Sept. 10. - IASP
World Suicide Prevention Day events are planned in Chilliwack at Sto:lo Nation on Sept. 10.
— image credit: IASP

Chilliwack residents will be helping to “Cycle Around the Globe” on Sept. 10 at Sto:lo Nation in support of “One World Connected,” the theme for this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day, as chosen by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP).

If averages hold true, 11 people will die by suicide today in this country, according to the IASP. Awareness is essential to changing this and understanding why people consider suicide and try to take their lives.

At Sto:lo Nation, local cyclists will be doing their part to collectively pedal the 40,075 kilometres circumference of the Earth and have participants cycling on every continent. That’s IASP’s global challenge to raise awareness of suicide prevention. Organizers will have a few bicycles available on site, but participants are encouraged to bring their own bikes and helmets.

Among those expected to take part are youth in the VYPER (Valley Youth Partnership for Engagement & Respect) and YAG (Youth As Gatekeepers) programs, which are both active locally in promoting healthy connectivity among Chilliwack youth and young adults.

Sto:lo Nation is home to the Coqualeetza Trail, a one-kilometre track for people to cycle or walk any distance. Every kilometre logged will be submitted to the IASP to add to the worldwide total, and a complimentary dinner will be served at 5 p.m. Other activities promoting suicide awareness and prevention will be hosted by youth and agency programs.

Events run from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Sto:lo Nation, 7201 Vedder Rd. There is no cost and no need to pre-register.

The Chilliwack Hospice Society, Chilliwack Community Services and Prospera Credit Union are sponsoring a second event for Suicide Prevention Day, at 7 p.m. at Cottonwood 4 Cinemas. This will be a special showing of the movie Patch Adams starring Robin Williams (who committed suicide Aug. 11) and will be followed by a panel discussion. Admission is $5 for the film and program.

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