Night kayak event helps 'Shine a Light on Suicide'

The dam at Two Mile Run County Park was lit up with a sign of hope to not only reassure those struggling with mental illness that there is always hope, but to celebrate the lives of those living in recovery. (By Sarah Titley)

Hundreds turned out to Two Mile Run County Park on Saturday to celebrate life and end the negative stigma surrounding mental health.

The third annual "Shine a Light on Suicide" night kayak event, hosted by the Venango County Suicide Prevention Task Force, was said to have had the largest turnout yet.

Kayaks of all shapes and sizes glided across the glassy lake decked out in bright, glowing lights in every hue toward a bright message that stood out in the dark like a beacon the task force wants all individuals struggling with the thought of suicide to remember - hope.

The event kicked off an initiative set throughout the month of September, which is known as Suicide Prevention Awareness month, as well as Recovery Month sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

The goal of the initiative is to not only promote awareness about suicide and how to prevent it, but all mental health and substance abuse disorders, and to celebrate those in recovery.

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