To the Editor:
The second annual Out of the Darkness Community Walk will take place at Hampshire Park in Romney, W.Va., on Sunday, Oct. 14.
Registration will begin at noon and the walk will start at 2 p.m. There will be a memory balloon release after the walk. A memory wall will be provided where participants may place photos of their lost loved ones, notes and other memorabilia.
There are more than 200 walks taking place in cities and towns across the county this year.
Randy Henderson, a licensed professional counselor, will speak about depression and suicide just before the walk begins. Adam Steinspring from Springfield will perform and a DJ will provide music throughout.
There will be cakewalks, a Longaberger Baskets raffle and a silent auction (items needed). Booths will have a variety of food items for purchase.
With thousands of people participating nationwide, each person is contributing his voice to break the silence surrounding suicide.
This event supports the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and it is not too late to help. Donations can be made by going to www.outofthedarkness.org. If you would like to form a team in honor of a loved one, you may do so at this website.
It is estimated that close to 1 million Americans attempt suicide and more than 34,000 die by suicide every year. In the U.S., someone dies by suicide every 15 minutes.
It is the third leading cause of death among teens and young adults and the second leading cause of death for college students. Ninety per cent of all suicides are related to some form of mental illness, most often depression. Depression is also the most treatable.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is the leading national not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research, education and advocacy as well as to reaching out to people with mental disorders and those affected by suicide. For more information, please visit www.asfp.org.
On this website, you can also find teams to join for the walk or perhaps find someone you know who is walking that you can support with a monetary gift.
You can also call Karen at 304-298-3523 or Trisa at 304-851-2483 for more information. If you are in crisis yourself, call the national hotline at 1-800-273-talk (8255).