SAN LUIS — Suicide has touched the lives of many here in the San Luis Valley.
Classmates and friends Amber Maestas, Nazaray Albert, and Merissa Vigil were deeply affected by the loss of their friends and neighbors. All three work in the public health field, Maestas for Costilla County Public Health, Vigil at DHS-social services, and Albert works in Behavioral Health.
Maestas explains, "When we began discussing doing something for the community, we realized we all have access to finding and providing resources, based on our field of work...our hope was to bring awareness to the community, while also providing resources."
Thus, the Stations of Suicide Awareness event was born in September 2021. Valley-Wide Health Systems, the Costilla County Sheriff's Department, public health, and social services all came together to host this event. There was a 5k walk, and informational booths. Last year, people released balloons in honor of loved ones lost.
The Second Stations of Suicide Awareness event is Sept. 10. It will be held in San Luis in the Costilla County Public Health parking lot on Main Street.
The event starts at 8:30 a.m. with presentations followed by a 5k walk. There will be speakers and informational booths.
This year, because of donations and contributions, people can have fruit trees planted in the park in San Luis and have plaques honoring loved ones. County Commissioner Robert Espinoza is donating T-shirts. Maestas, Albert, and Vigil hope this event brings awareness and understanding of the issue.