The New Bedford Wellness Initiative will be holding their monthly Wellness Walk on Saturday and this month it will be dedicated to suicide awareness.

Traditionally, Wellness Walks focus on physical health while suicide is often viewed as a mental health issue.

However, Dr. Michael Rocha, Director of the New Bedford Wellness Initiative told WBSM News that both must be addressed in order to live a truly healthy lifestyle.

"We have to realize that we all have to live a life in balance and we have to be able to recognize that we have to live both emotionally, spiritually, and physically in balance and our well being has to include our behavioral health."

The walk is being conducted in partnership with the Greater New Bedford Suicide Prevention Coalition and will feature opening remarks from both Rocha and Coalition leader, Rev. David Lima.

In addition to those remarks Rocha says they will also invite participants to share their stories.

"If people want to share some of their stories of being able to overcome, potentially, their challenges that would be great," said Rocha "but we really just want to bring awareness and help prevent this unfortunate tragedy that effects family, friends, and communities."

Rocha says they will also be providing information about suicide prevention and educating participants about the role all of us play in preventing suicides.

"We all play a role in that, because it doesn't have to just be a practicioner that's trying to get someone help, it can be sometimes family or friends that are the ones that are trying to encourage people to get to where they need to be and we'll try to provide some resources," said Rocha.

The walk begins at 10 a.m. at Buttonwood Park in New Bedford.

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