It has been six years since Madison Losell began raising awareness about suicide prevention.
Each year, Losell diligently plans the Suicide Prevention Walk, which begins at the South Williamsport Park Complex and then continues on the River Walk. Losell is also looking for sponsors for the event, planning the basket raffle and managing the event’s Facebook page.
Suicide is a problem Losell is no stranger to. At 14, she lost a close friend and struggled with depression – not knowing where to turn for help. While the walk began as a class project, Losell continued her mission to not only bring people together, but to provide resources for people like her who didn’t know where to turn.
Each year the boardwalk has grown, now bringing over 100 people to the park. The next walk is scheduled for noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 23.
As awareness grows, the number of suicides in Lycoming County has also increased in recent years.
According to Lycoming County Coroner Charles Kiessling, 19 people died by suicide in 2021, with the youngest being 13. This is an increase from 15 suicides in 2020 and 14 suicides in 2019. However, more recently the highest year for suicides was 2018 with 25 deaths.
In the county, as in national statistics, men are more than twice as likely to commit suicide as women, according to county statistics.
In Pennsylvania, more than 1,600 people committed suicide in 2020 and in the United States nearly 46,000 people committed suicide in 2020.
National statistics show that white men…
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