“A Light in the Dark” event to offer hope and support

The first “Light in the Dark” Suicide Prevention Awareness Glow Walk will be held this Saturday, September 23, 2023, at the Washington Court House High School Track. Registration and sign-in begins at 6:30 p.m., and the walk will begin at 7 p.m. The walk is being organized by the Fayette County Suicide Prevention Coalition, “A Community of Hope.” 

“We encourage anyone who is in need of support or who would like to offer support to attend,” said Missy Smith, coalition member. “You do not have to do the walk to participate.” 

Smith added “The community has really been amazing in supporting this event. There are many generous sponsors supporting the event. The Washington Court House and Miami Trace cheerleaders, Washington Court House Hope Squad, and Miami Trace student government have been helping with preparations for the walk. We are hoping to provide support and hope to those who are struggling.”

In addition to the awareness walk, there will be several organizations with tables and information about resources for mental health, housing, parenting, and more.

A stoneware thumbler from Biers Run Mudd will be in the swag bags provided to the first 50 people who registered for the walk.

Handmade greeting cards from Jana Deeks will be in the swag bags provided to the first 50 people who registered for the walk

A $10 donation is requested to attend (children 17 and under are free). The proceeds from the event will support the coalition’s efforts, which include the promotion of the 988 crisis lifeline, care baskets, and training.  McNair Presbyterian Church is covering the donation for anyone who would like to attend but is unable to pay.

Tasty Treats food trailer will be set up in the parking lot starting at 5 p.m. A limited amount of t-shirts will be available at the walk for $15. Sizes cannot be guaranteed and the shirts will be sold, first come, first served.

Participating Agencies

The following organizations will have tables and provide information at the event.

Community Action Commission of Fayette County

Community Action Commission of Fayette County (CAC) is a private non-profit corporation committed to doing all things necessary to aid in eliminating poverty.  The mission of the CAC is to combat the causes of poverty, expand community services, and implement projects necessary to provide services and further community improvements.  Its mission is also to consider the problems concerning youth, adults, and senior citizens and deal with the prevention and solving of those problems, including the development and management of affordable housing for special populations like individuals in recovery from substance abuse or mental illness, victims of domestic violence, the homeless and/or disabled, and low to moderate income individuals, families, and seniors. 

The vision of CAC is to facilitate the development of effective community programs that provide every individual and neighborhood in our community the opportunity to thrive.

Community Action believes in the person-centered approach to human services. Key values are not judging others, understanding other’s experiences from their point of view, and fully honoring the uniqueness of the individuals we serve in a genuine and heartfelt way while respecting autonomy.  CAC believes that without a significant relationship, there cannot be significant learning.  To that end, they value the dignity and respect of each member of our community.

CAC will bring program information.

Fayette County Early Learning Center

The Fayette County Early Learning Center offers no cost services to families and support the Head Start core values that are delivered in 5-star center-based facilities in Washington Court House and Jeffersonville, home-based programming, and 5-star family childcare settings located in Fayette, Highland, and Clinton counties. The comprehensive programs enroll throughout their program year and are available to qualifying expectant parents and families with children ages birth to five years old from diverse cultural backgrounds. In addition to the supported learning and development of children, Fayette County Early Learning Center provides medical, dental, hearing, vision, and behavioral screenings, healthy meals and snacks, and supportive family partners to empower the well-being of the family to best support children and their family preparing children to succeed in school and life.

Fayette County Early Learning Center will bring flyers, giveaways, and program information. 

Fayette County Help Me Grow

Fayette County Help Me Grow Home Visitors teach new parents how to keep their children healthy; coach families on how to be great parents; and provide one-on-one support. Home visitors are there for caregivers and babies at the most important time in their lives. The program provides expectant or new parents with the information, support, and encouragement they need through a voluntary, high-quality home visiting service.

By supporting positive interactions with children in stable and stimulating environments, Help Me Grow seeks to create a sturdy foundation for future achievement. Ultimately, this approach is essential to the educational and economic success of Ohio’s children and families. The Help Me Grow Home Visiting program has four central goals: increase healthy pregnancies; improve parenting confidence and competence; increase family connectedness to community and social supports; and improve child health, development, and readiness.

Help Me Grow will bring program information and resources for families of young children.

Fayette County Suicide Prevention Coalition (A Community of Hope)

The Fayette County Suicide Prevention Coalition is dedicated to building healthy and safe communities by helping others discover their reasons to live through promoting awareness, education, intervention, and support services.’

The coalition will bring yard signs, resources, coalition information, and giveaways. There will also be information about a GriefShare support group that will be starting in the community.

Integrated Services for Behavioral Health

Integrated Services for Behavioral Health (ISBH) is a Community Mental Health Agency serving Fayette County and 20 other counties in Central, Southern, and Southeast Ohio. They offer home-based supportive services, counseling, psychiatry, housing, and OhioRise Care Coordination. The ISBH’s mission is to deliver exceptional care through connection. Their vision is healthy people and strong communities.

ISBH staff will bring resources and information about their services.

R.E.A.C.H. for Tomorrow, Inc.

The mission of R.E.A.C.H. for Tomorrow is to help individuals, families, churches, coalitions, and communities realize their goals for health, healing, and wholeness using the tools of Restoration, Education, Advocacy, Collaboration, and Hope.

“In response to our faith in almighty God, the vision of R.E.A.C.H. for Tomorrow is to heal and to prevent brokenness in the world caused by trauma, abuse, and mental illness; and in its place bring edification and empowerment–either by working alone in the gaps or bonded with other like-minded persons,” said program leadership.

R.E.A.C.H. for Tomorrow will bring information about mental health, substance use programming, support groups, etc. 

Scioto Paint Valley Mental Health Clinic

Scioto-Paint Valley Mental Health Center is a private, non-profit organization serving Fayette, Highland, Pickaway, Ross, and Pike counties.  Within the last year, they are excited to be extending particular services beyond this catchment region.  During the 1960s, Ms. Martha Cottrill and other community volunteers paved the way for a steering committee to organize and develop a mental health center. 

The mission of the center is to provide leadership and services in a community-wide effort to foster positive, optimal mental health and to assist the community in finding ways to prevent, reduce, and minimize the residual effects of mental health problems. 

Representatives of the Scioto-Paint Valley Mental Health Center (Fayette County clinic) will be glad to provide information and answer questions about the services available through Scioto-Paint Valley Mental Health Center which include outpatient therapy for children, adolescents and adults, medical treatment, residential care and emergency services. 

Information from agency brochures will be available to further describe details about the services that are offered.

Second Chance Center of Hope

Second Chance Center of Hope exists to assist the community’s homeless, low/moderate income level families, and victims of domestic violence with encouragement, empathy, and hope. The goal is to help guide them to resources and encourage the use of services that enable them to see the light at the end of the tunnel. They provide many services that focus on the stepping stones of success for individuals and families.

Second Chance will have information about the program.

The Wake

The Wake is a weekly outreach focused on bringing hope to our community.  Every Thursday, they serve a free, hot meal at 6:30 p.m. at the Langley Theater (Lafayette Room).  At 7 p.m., there is live Christian music from a variety of musicians and singers as well as a speaker who has battled and overcome a stronghold in their life.  Anxiety, depression, anger, addictions, suicide… they have all been topics at The Wake and lives have been changed and hope restored to those in attendance.  “The Wake is causing a “ripple of hope” through Fayette County and beyond and we are so excited to be a part of this community,” said April Young.  “We will have more information available this Saturday at the Glow Walk.  If you’re struggling, we’d love to meet you and offer you the same hope that so many others have found.” 

The Wake will give out information about its services and outreach.

Walk Organizers

The following organizations are represented on the glow walk committee and provided financial, technical, and logistical support for the walk:

  • Adena Senior Health Solutions
  • Chillicothe VA
  • Fayette County Board of Developmental Disabilities
  • Fayette County Commission on Aging
  • Fayette County Community Action Commission
  • Fayette County Early Learning Center’
  • Fayette County Public Health
  • Ohio State University Extension
  • Paint Valley ADAMH Board
  • Rose Avenue Dream Center
  • REACH for Tomorrow, Inc.

Walk Sponsors

The glow walk is possible due to the generosity of the following sponsors who have donated time, money, or resources to this event.

Gold Sponsors: Adena Health, Biers Run Mudd, Community Action Commission of Fayette County, Fayette County Public Health, McNair Presbyterian Church, Paint Valley ADAMH Board, REACH for Tomorrow, Inc., Sugar Creek Packing, Unlimited Contracting Solutions, LLC

Medallion Sponsors: Bret, Melissa, Will and Chase Smith, Parrett Insurance, Pathways to Recovery, Signature Health Care, Summers Funeral Home, Washington Court House City Schools

Century Sponsors: Cheryl and Creg Stockwell, Fox Jewelers, Jana Deeks, N.O.T.W. Remodeling, Save the Clefts Rescue, Second Chance Community Center of Hope, Lorre Black Umbrellas, SVG Motors, Trends Downtown on Court, YUSA

Silver Sponsors: Fiber Tech, Tasty Treats, Quality Collision, Whymsical Belle (Serena Huddleson)

Register here.

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