‘Breaking the Silence Walk’ aims to get people talking about suicide

People participate in the 15th annual Breaking the Silence Walk. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — The 16th annual “Breaking the Silence Walk” will take place at a new location this year and will be held in conjunction with a “Festival of Hope.”

Brittlynn Bulgrin with the Natrona County Suicide Prevention Task Force says that both events aim to break social stigmas about talking openly about suicide.

“Obviously, it has impacted many people’s lives,” Bulgrin says of suicide, adding that some people find it difficult or embarrassing to talk about. “We just can’t quite seem to break that stigma.”

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(This article compiles suicide prevention information and resources for people in Casper and Wyoming.)

The events will go from 2-6 pm Saturday, Sept. 14 at David Street Station.

“This year we are partnering with J.R.’s Hunt for Life,” Bulgrin says.

She added that past Breaking the Silence Walks were held along the North Platte River, but organizers decided to bring this year’s downtown in hopes to reach more people.

“This year’s event will include: face painting, memory balloons, therapy horses and dogs, over 26 local mental health providers and resources, and much more,” Bulgrin said in an event announcement.

The Breaking the Silence Walk begins at 4 pm. It will begin at David Street Station and people will walk along the Rotary Trail up to the Nicolaysen Art Museum and back again.

Reach 4A Star are going to be there with their therapy horses,” Bulgrin adds.

People will have a chance to pet and ride the horses.

Arapaho dancers will perform at the event. Bulgrin adds that people will have the chance to write memories or other messages on balloons before releasing these into the skies.

A free BBQ organized by the Casper Fraternal Order of Police will also be offered.

“This event is free to everyone to come experience hope while supporting suicide prevention and awareness,” the announcement adds.

“If you have any question regarding this event, please contact Brittlynn Bulgrin at 307-233-4277 or bbulgrin@mercercasper.com.”