ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) — The family of Shannon Long will host a Suicide Awareness Walk in Athens this week.

According to a news release, the event will be held at Swan Creek Park beginning at 4 p.m. with the walk starting at 7 p.m. The event includes food trucks, activities, and the chance to speak to others whose lives have been touched by suicide.

Organizers say the walk is “for ourselves, lost loved ones, and loved ones fighting.”

While it is free to participate in the walk, there will be candles, sand, and bags available for purchase. All proceeds from the walk benefit organizations that help the community access care.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States with over 45,000 deaths in 2020. The number of those who say they struggle with suicidal thoughts or attempt suicide is even higher.

Among those lost to suicide was Shannon Long.

“Losing Shannon has been one of the toughest battles this family has had to overcome,” the Long family stated. “We are determined to help other families not experience what we have been through and help other families that have been where we are. You are loved. You are wanted. Let’s fight together and end the stigma.”

The Crisis Services of North Alabama, Central North Alabama Health Services Inc., and Wellstone will be on-site to provide resources to the community.

Learn more about the upcoming walk here or call 256-800-7424.