Suicide Prevention Awareness Candlelight Vigil

Mid-Shore Mental Health Systems Inc. and the Defeating Stigma Coalition have joined forces with the International Association for Suicide Prevention and the World Health Organization to support World Suicide Prevention Day on Tuesday, September 10. We’ve organized five simultaneous events in each of the five counties—Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot–of the Mid-Shore region.

Suicide is an ever-growing problem in our society that is claiming the lives of more and more people at the rate of one death by suicide every 40 seconds. For each successful suicide there are roughly 10 attempted suicides, many of which lead to hospitalizations, and are an indicator of the burden of poor mental health in the population. Furthermore, there are twice as many deaths from suicide each year than from homicides.

Our organization wants those people who are despairing and thinking about suicide to know that help is available. All you, a friend or family member needs to do is to ask. Research shows that suicide is preventable and therefore the five events will be held at the following local parks: Long Wharf Park in Cambridge, Thompson Park in Easton, the Courthouse Greens in Denton, Court House Square Park in Centreville, and Fountain Park in Chestertown. Each program begins at 7:45 p.m. two speakers will discuss prevention and personal experience. At about 8 p.m., attendees will light candles to memorialize those who’ve completed suicide, support survivors and recognize prevention. Candles will be supplied. This same candle lighting ceremony will occur at 8 p.m. in every time zone around the world.

Those who can’t make an event are encouraged to light a candle at 8 p.m. near a window to show support for Suicide Prevention, to remember a lost loved one, and for the survivors of suicide. For more information, contact Kathy Stevens at 410-770-4801 or email If you or someone you know is struggling with suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or Eastern Shore Mobile Crisis at 1-800-407-8018.