Tanana man plans second suicide awareness walk

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — A Tanana man is planning a second long-distance walk to raise awareness of Alaska suicides.

Fifty-six-year-old Vernon Stickman last year ran and walked about 175 miles from Tanana to Ruby and Galena.

This year he will take a snowmobile most of the way to Ruby to avoid a rough trail. But after Ruby, he plans to walk to Galena, Koyukuk, Nulato and Kaltag, accompanied by a support crew.

Stickman's 22-year-old son committed suicide in September 2010.

Stickman says when there's a suicide in a village, it's not just one family that experiences pain. He says it's devastating to everyone.

Stickman tells the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (http://bit.ly/XxJmHk) that he and his wife want to speak in villages about suicide prevention for teenagers, young adults and elders.

His trip will begin Friday.

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Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, http://www.newsminer.com

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