Suicide awareness topic of events |

Suicide awareness topic of events

by Amy Roby
Suicide Prevention Walk attendees stand for the Pledge of Allegiance in Heritage Park in 2017.
Brad Coman/R-C File Photo

September is National Suicide Prevention Month, a time when individuals and organizations dedicated to mental health band together to promote suicide prevention awareness. It is a time to remember those who have died by suicide as well as those directly affected by it. It is a time for sharing personal stories and available resources as a way to destigmatize the conversation around suicide and to illuminate the importance of education, intervention, and support.

Several local community events focused on suicide prevention and awareness are planned in the coming weeks.

“Andy’s Ride for Suicide Awareness” takes place 8:30 a.m. Sept. 14. This bicycle ride originated as a way to bring attention to the increase in suicide rates and to honor the memory of Andy Getas, a local dentist, jazz enthusiast, musician, and cyclist, who died by suicide several years ago.

Bicyclists have a choice of two distances, either 22 or 34 miles. Both routes start at the Genoa Fire Station, 2287 Main St., and travel the base of the Sierra Nevada mountain range along the Old Pony Express/Emigrant Trail.

Pre-registration is $35 and includes a T-shirt; raffle ticket; and barbecue lunch complete with a pulled pork sandwich, sides, and dessert. Additional raffle tickets are available for purchase. Day-of registration cost is $40 and includes lunch and a raffle ticket.

To sign up, log on to No refunds will be issued for canceled or unfulfilled reservations.

Andy’s Ride is hosted by Suicide Prevention Network in Minden. More information can be found on their website at

The 13th annual Walk in Memory, Walk for Hope also takes place on Sept. 14. The Carson City walk starts at the Bob McFadden Plaza, 323 W. 3rd St., with registration starting at 9 a.m. A donation of $20 per walker is requested, and all funds raised will benefit Nevada Coalition for Suicide Prevention programs throughout the state.

Registration forms can be found on the NCSP web site at Forms may either be completed online or printed and mailed or brought to the Carson City walk.

On Sept. 21, SPN hosts its third annual awareness walk, Emily’s Walk for Hope, at 10 a.m. at Lake Tahoe Community College, 1 College Drive, in South Lake Tahoe. Emily’s Walk was inspired by 2017 by Tahoe local Susan Alessi, whose daughter, Emily, died by suicide in 2014. The event is intended “to bring awareness to the issues that can lead to suicide, empower and inform the community about the resources available, and remember those we’ve lost.”

Participants will have an opportunity to visit informational booths as they enjoy coffee and pastries. The walk starts with a 10 a.m. opening ceremony that features inspirational speakers and music; closing ceremonies include a butterfly release.

Exhibitor spaces and sponsorships are available, as well the purchase of a memory sign in honor of a loved one. Registration information is available at

Questions about Emily’s Walk for Hope may be directed to Lisa Utzig Schafer at 530-600-6520 or

Amy Roby can be reached at