The Natrona County Suicide Prevention Task Force will host the annual Breaking the Silence Walk at Crossroads Park on North Poplar Street from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.

Over the years, the free event has given people the opportunity to remember loved ones who lost their lives to suicide and to raise awareness of suicide among themselves.

The trail parallels the North Platte River and people can walk as far as they want.

The task force will serve 300 lunches to participants. Informational resource tables also will be available.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic brings restrictions to this year's event including sanitation stations, encouraging wearing face masks and maintaining social distancing, said task force coordinator Brittlynn Adame at the Mercer Family Resource Center.

The walk will not feature any gatherings or speakers, nor have musicians play instruments because the task force didn't want people to gather, Adame said.

Thee pandemic has limited the task force's ability to deploy its Suicide Prevention Awareness Team to give its peer-to-peer presentations in the schools about risk factors and warning signs, and to conduct its question-persuade-refer training programs, she said.

"It's been hard, it's been tough being able to get out there and give the resources that the community needs," Adame said.

For more information about the walk or suicide prevention and awareness, contact Adame at 307-233-4277 or at bbulgrin@mercercasper.com.

Wyoming had the second-highest rate of suicide in the nation in 2019.

In Natrona County, 15 people died by suicide as of August this year, according to the Natrona County Coroner's Office.

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