TOOELE COUNTY, Utah -- Dozens of people stepped out together for a 100 mile trek to raise awareness for suicide prevention on Friday morning at Tooele City Hall.
The organization called “Life’s Worth Living” organized its annual 100 mile “Walk to Wendover” with about 50 people, including Tooele County Sheriff Paul Wimmer.
“My wife and I are walking on behalf of my nephew Brent Wimmer,” said Sheriff Wimmer while walking alongside his wife.
“He lost a nephew to suicide a few years ago,” said Jon Gossett, president of Life’s Worth Living Foundation, as he talked about the sheriff with Fox 13 News. “He knows that it hits home. He sees it on a daily basis through his job.”
Gossett also said no one is immune to suicide.
“It can happen to anybody’s family—no matter religion, race, income level: it doesn’t matter,” Gossett said.
Gossett said his organization is aware of school bullying and knows that plays a role in young people’s suicidal behavior.
“We have worked with the Tooele County School District, The Communities That Care, and the State Health Department,” Gossett said. “Last year the SHARP (Student Health and Risk Prevention) data with the school district, in the state of Utah, with 28 school districts, Tooele was the only school district to have a drop in suicide ideation, so that is a huge move in the right direction. All the other school districts went up; we went down. So, that’s a huge move in the right direction.”
Laura Julander lost her husband Mike Julander three years ago to suicide on August 12th, 2015. She said she has learned a lot about prevention through the Life’s Worth Living Foundation since he died.
“It wasn’t until afterwards, when I took prevention classes, where I noticed there were signs that I had missed, and if I had the education I would have been able to intervene and prevent it,” Julander said.
Together the group walked from Tooele City Hall to Grantsville City Hall, then walked to exit 84 along I-80. Then they took a van to exit 56 and walked the rest of the way to Wendover along the frontage road.
On Saturday, the Life’s Worth Living Foundation will host its Tooele County Walk-a-thon starting at 11:00 a.m. at the Tooele County Mid Valley Trail (700 W. Rogers Lane, Tooele, UT.)
For more information contact Jon Gossett, President of Life’s Worth Living Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect on social media with #WalktoWendover
For more information on suicide prevention, click here.