Upper Bucks Campus Holds Suicide Prevention Walk

Morgan Taylor

Bucks’ second annual #HoldOnYouMatter Suicide Prevention Walk took place last Saturday, Nov. 2, at the Upper Bucks Campus in Perkasie.

The executive director of the Upper Bucks Campus, Dr. Rodney Altemose had the pleasure of overseeing the entire event for the second year in a row.

“I was just simply asked about it last year and just said ‘sure’,” Altemose said about his reception to the position of overseeing the event for the past two years.

When asked if he had a special reason for wanting to be a part of the event, Altemose had a very
relatable response.

“The walk is extremely powerful, as well as very emotional. Suicide has affected many lives, and we need to remind ourselves and those around us that it can be prevented,” he said.

Over 500 people came out to the walk this year, which lasts about two hours. There was a small program before the walk began to remembers those who have taken their lives and enforce the idea that suicide effects everyone.

Aside from the walk itself, there were activities participants could take part in. Many of those who attended the walk this year were using the time before and after the walk to write on the sidewalks with chalk in memory of their loved ones.

Most, if not all, social service agencies come out to the event to set up a table where people can stop by before and after to ask questions and receive more information in regards to suicide and how to prevent it.

Considering all of the different things that were going on
at the walk, Altemose kept it simple when asked what his favorite part was.

“I love hearing the stories from different people who attend each year. Most people think it is a sad event, but in reality, it is extremely powerful and uplifting,” said
Altemose.

Altemose was also thrilled with not just how many people showed up, but who showed up.

“Miss Pennsylvania Tiffany Seitz was on campus to welcome people, as well as other political people came and provided a welcome. It was truly a great day,” said Altemose.

The walk is an extremely important day for those who have lost someone to suicide, or who may have struggled with suicidal thoughts themselves. It gives those who are struggling a place to finally let go of all the hurt they are feeling and turn it into something that can help others.

If you or someone you know may want to get involved in
next year’s walk, you are asked
to visit http://www.buckscounty.org/LivingAndWorking/SuicidePreventionTaskForce or contact Altemose at Rodney.