ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Mental Health is this month’s focus. Every year the suicide prevention walk is held to bring awareness and support to neighbors who have suffered a loss of a loved one.

Community Leaders gathered volunteers and residents came together at Eldridge park to raise awareness and pay homage to their loved ones.

“Our first year as a school having a group here. We had 44 participants which was awesome. We enjoy coming out here for this cause that is so important,” said Heather Donovan, Principal, Riverside Elementary School.

Local Organizations got involved with this initiative to motivate community members to seek the help needed.

“We want to make sure that people know that there is help out there. You have reached out to your community to reach out to counselors to help. We don’t want to lose another person to suicide,” said Donovan.

This suicide awareness walk aligns residents who are walking similar paths.

“It’s sad that someone has unfortunately lost their life. It’s so important to bring the community together so that way we can bring hope here,” said Jennifer Spencer, Co-organizer, of Walk a Mile in My Shoes.

The goal is to have more people participate in the next event.

“It’s been a really good event. I think the turnout was okay. Next year would be awesome to have more people. It’s nice to be able to see support,” said Spencer.

Spencer also shared that it’s heartwarming to have returners show up and share stories of how their loved one was effect by mental health.

“One lady had lost her uncle. She was here to support that. She’s been doing that for a couple of years now,” said Spencer.

Bringing people together and fighting to prevent suicide can change lives. If you’re looking to help someone you know with suicide, visit the suicide prevention website.