GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) — A downtown Green Bay event aimed at erasing the stigma associated with mental health and uniting the community will take place Saturday, September 14.

The 11th annual Be the Light Walk hopes to not only erase the stigma but to prevent suicide through education, support, and awareness.

Participation for this evening event grew to more than 1,600 people in 2018.

Be the Light kicks off with a resource fair and T-shirt pickup at 6 p.m. at the KI Convention Center in Green Bay.

Local 5’s Erin Davisson will be emceeing the event.

Guest speaker Dr. Gregory A. Hudnall, the founder of HOPE4UTAH, will deliver his presentation at 7:30 p.m. immediately followed by a 1-mile candlelight walk over the Main Street and Walnut Street bridges.

The walk will end at City Deck with a symbolic dedication to those lost and celebrate those who live on.

HOPE4UTAH is a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention.

Dr. Hundnall’s school-based program of “HOPE Squads” is in over 500 schools in 18 states, including the Unified School District of De Pere.

Suicide rates in the U.S. are higher than any other time since World War II based on a report released earlier this year by the US CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.

Be the Light Walk says Brown County is defying the national trend, experiencing a decrease in suicides since 2017. Despite this, Be the Light Walk says dozens of suicides occur in Brown County and those are a small fraction of attempts.

The event is held in support of the Brown County Coalition for Suicide Prevention and its initiatives. The Coalition is comprised of more than 20 schools, healthcare organizations, behavioral health providers and advocacy groups, government agencies, police and fire departments, veteran-focused groups, local businesses and community members that have banded together to restore hope and save lives.

There are many ways to be a part of this positive movement including participating, forming a team of walkers, volunteering, promoting the event, donating to walkers or becoming a sponsor.

Online registration is available through September 13 by clicking here. In-person registration is available the day of the event, beginning at 6 p.m.