On September 23, after a week of devastating loss in the Saint John community, hundreds gathered at the Reversing Falls Bridge to acknowledge the lives that have been lost.
At 8:00 p.m., hundreds of people gathered at the Wolastoq Park and were given a small introduction from the mind behind the event, Jessica Marjorie. Following this introduction, everyone held hands while a prayer was given by a pastor from Kings Church.
“We will be that light of hope when all around us, hope goes out.” said Pastor John Lamos of Kings Church.
After the prayer was finished, the crowd moved down the hill and onto the bridge, collecting candles along the way. Many carried signs with them to be taped on the bridge following the event.
The Mayor, Don Darling, participated at the event and posted his emotional response on Instagram.
Once on the bridge, flowers were given out, and a few people made their way down the crowd, hugging each person as they went. A moment of silence was given for those who have lost their life to suicide and a final prayer was given to conclude the event.
People and families who had been impacted by suicide and mental illness were encouraged to head back to the Wolastoq Park following the conclusion to share their story and receive support from people in similar circumstances.
The incredible turnout of this event demonstrates the passion and impact that mental illness has on our community. If you or a loved one are struggling, please reach out.
Counselling services are available on campus for students, uptown at the Mercantile building for the public, or anonymously through the following 24-hour hotline numbers:
Crisis text line: 686-868
CHIMO helpline: 1 (800) 667-5005
Kids Help Phone: 1 (800) 668-6868
Hope for Wellness Indigenous Helpline: 1 (855)242-3310
Suicide Prevention Service: 1 (833) 456-4566