This article was written by the Oregon State Penitentiary’s Public Information Officer. With Memorial Day just around the corner, we thought this story was particularly inspirational and a good reminder of how we can remember the American service members we have lost.
In a time where uncertainty and unrest are at the forefront of society, and communities are struggling to maintain alignment and unity with one another, individuals are still pushing forward, adapting to challenges, and finding creative ways to stay connected. For those struggling with mental illness, this is a greater challenge. For our nation’s veterans, this is an act of survival.
Like many of our facilities, Oregon State Correctional Institution (OSCI) recently partnered with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) to host their first Out of the Darkness walk, working to prevent and foster awareness around suicide. The walk provided OSCI’s adults in custody (AICs) and employees a space to discuss their experiences, express their grief, and learn about warning signs and prevention efforts.
On June 28, Powder River Correctional Facility (PRCF) in Baker City held its very first Suicide Prevention Walk. Around 150 people participated in the walk, including adults in custody (AICs), institution staff, and contractors. Considering that Powder River is a fairly small facility, this is an incredible turnout!
2017, Santiam Correctional Institution (SCI) committed to build a partnership
with AFSP in an effort to educate and assist with funding and research to
reduce suicide in correctional settings. The American
Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) has been a leader in research and
reduction of Suicide in the United States since 1987. Thanks to
this partnership, SCI was the first correctional facility in the nation to host
such a suicide prevention walk!