SOLOMONS, Md. – Mental health is a big issue in today’s world, especially in Solomons, Maryland, where suicide rates involving the Thomas Johnson bridge have spiked over the past year.
The Southern Calvert Baptist Church is holding a prayer walk on the Solomons Island boardwalk to promote mental health awareness and to remember the people we have lost due to suicide, drug overdoses, and other reasons.
The prayer walk will begin at 10 a.m. on July 4, at the waterman’s monument, immediately following the traditional flag-raising ceremony.
“That bridge, that Thomas Johnson bridge, basically casts a shadow on Solomons Island,” says Kyle Webber, one of the event organizers.
“It’s a beautiful bridge, but it’s an old bridge and it’s time to move on. I think when they look at replacing that bridge, they need to think very hard on ways to stop future tragedies,” Webber said. “I’m against suicide, and to play devil’s advocate, people are going to find a way to end their lives if they want to. But that being said, let’s deprive them of just one way of doing it…
“I don’t know if there will ever be a net, I don’t know if that’s the best solution, but I do think that the bridge needs to be replaced, and I call on our local leaders to vigorously pursue that option,” he said.
All are welcome to join this event, and at the end of the walk, there will be free refreshments courtesy of The Pier restaurant.
“Solomons Island is a beautiful place, it would be a great way to start the day,” says Webber. “It would also be a good family tradition to visit the flag-raising ceremony…there really is no reason for anyone not to attend, it’s an important event, the subject of suicide is often very taboo.”
“Everybody wants to do something, but I think the first step is that we ought to talk about it.”
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EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of the story indicated that the prayer walk was being held in conjunction with the Solomons Business Association(SBA). This information was provided to us by the prayer walk’s organizer, and has since been contested by the SBA.