Out of the Darkness: Why We Walk
Every year for the past 6 or 7 years, I have participated in a walk that tries to bring awareness to the tragedy of suicide and the stigma it holds. Some of you know, many may not, that I lost my daughter Autumn to suicide. On September 1st, today as I write this, we lost another family member to suicide. Suicide touches everyone, I truly mean everyone.
22 veterans lose their lives every day to suicide.
Here are the statistics for the suicide rate in the state of Arkansas:
- 17th leading cause of death for ages 65 and older
- 8th leading cause of death for ages 55-64
- 5th leading cause of death for ages 45-54
- 4th leading cause of death for ages 30-44
- 2nd leading cause of death for ages 10-30
Yes, you read that last part correctly. Children as young as 10 die by suicide. Here's another statistic for you; one person dies of suicide every 17 hours in the state of Arkansas. That's just not okay.
I know those are a lot of “numbers” but each segment of numbers represents a person that has lost hope, doesn't know how to ask for help, suffers from a mental illness such as depression or another form of mental illness. These numbers are tragic and it needs to stop.
We walk because we want to offer hope. We walk because we've lost someone to suicide. We walk to support a friend or loved one that has lost someone to suicide. We walk to raise awareness. We walk to raise money to build programs to help those dealing with mental illness. We walk to raise money to educate schools, mental health professionals, clergy, first responders, teenagers. We walk to break the stigma that surrounds mental illness and suicide. We walk because we care, because we hurt, because we want to remember our loved ones. We walk because we are survivors. We walk because we want to offer hope.
September is National Suicide Awareness month. September 18th is the Out of the Darkness walk. I will be there along with our team, Team ReRide. We've raised $300.00. That may not be a whole lot, but it sure will help. Consider joining our team that day. Walk to support or honor someone. Just come and walk.