The Empty Shoe Memorial event will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Central Park Town Center on Saturday, Sept. 26; and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Veterans Park in Flagler Beach on Sunday, Sept. 27.
The Flagler County Mental Health and Wellness Advocates is sponsoring an Empty Shoe Memorial at Central Park Town Center (on Saturday, Sept. 26) and Veterans Park in Flagler Beach (on Sunday, Sept. 27). The event will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on both days.
Each pair of shoes will represent one person out of the 103 Flagler County residents who have died by suicide since 2017, when the county had the highest suicide rate in the state.
"Suicide is not the answer, however, our residents are not hearing that message," a news release by Flagler County Mental Health and Wellness Advocates states. "Too many people are unable to access the help they need and we are making it our mission to reach out and let our residents know that someone cares before it is too late. We don’t want to add any more empty shoes."
Action is needed, the news release states, including more local mental health resources and caring case managers, as well as jobs, healthcare access, affordable housing and access to transportation.
"We ask that the community come by and take a few moments to reflect on the lives lost too early," the news release states.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org.