“Walk4Hope” unites community and raises suicide awareness

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As Suicide Prevention Month comes to a close, Hope4Utah hosted its annual “Walk4Hope” this Saturday. This is the sixteenth annual Walk4Hope and people from all over the county came together to join in the fight for suicide awareness.

Founder of Hope4Utah Greg Hudnall reflects, “While it takes an entire village to raise a child, we believe it takes an entire community to save one.”

The community? Utah County. The child? Any and every young person in Utah at risk for suicide. Each year, locals in the community come together to register in the “Walk4Hope” and honor their loved ones.

“You just get that emotional pain that they’re feeling,” said Hudnall. “The walk gives them a chance to say, ‘Look, I lost someone important, and it gives me a chance to honor them during the walk.’”

Greg Hudnall created Hope4Utah 20 years ago as a platform for suicide prevention, and the walk gives families a chance to be a part of the change.

Michelle Feichert and her family came to the walk for special, personal reasons. “It’s something very personal to my family,” she shared. “Some of my kids have attempted it and thought about it. It’s just something we wanted to support.”

Chair of the committee Amanda Shield said, “It’s so great to look out into the crowds and see so many faces, so many shirts, and to know that we are all here together for a single purpose.”

This year, the walk featured speakers, music, and of course, joining in the one-mile walk. People honored loved ones during this walk as they posted pictures to the memory wall, chose a family member to walk for, or just came together to be a supportive member of the community.

Groups from many programs participated, including those from the Miss America organization.

Another great addition to the walk: hope squads. Lexi Hall, a leader of a local Hope Squad shared about her experience by saying, “It’s a really good program. It’s great to see the kids involved and really making a difference.”

“We bring companies, we bring programs, we bring schools from all over Utah County,” said Hudnall. “We try to make it a Utah County event. It really is respecting us as a whole to say ‘it takes a community.’”

As suicide prevention month comes to a close, you can still participate by checking out their website at HOPE4UTAH.COM or contacting one of your local hope squads.

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