Suicide: Walking Out Of The Darkness
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An American Foundation for Suicide Prevention statistic shows that 40,000 people in the U.S. died by suicide in 2011.
That’s one person taking his or her life every 13 minutes.
Many people from throughout the region came out to raise awareness for suicide at an “Out of the Darkness” walk right here in Fargo.
Tammy Erickson of Kindred is pointing to her son Chase.
He died of suicide on August 1st, 2011 at only 15 years old.
“I miss his everything, his smell, his voice,” said Erickson.
She’s at the “Out Of The Darkness” community walk helping raise awareness of the serious public health issue that took away her son.
“I’m so honored and really so proud that we can continue to walk four years after he died,” said Erickson.
Joey Schmuhl is at the walk remembering her friend and coworker Teresa Johnson.
“Her light and joy really inspired us to be better nurses and it inspires us still today,” said Schmuhl of Wahpeton.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has research that reveals 90% of people who die by suicide have a potentially treatable mental disorder at the time of their death.
“There’s still a huge stigma around the issue of suicide and mental illness and it’s really important that we are out in the open about it,” said organizer Brenda Weiler.
The walk is a way for people like Erickson to remember loved ones and raise much needed awareness of suicide.
Something she still doesn’t have answers to.
“He was super impulsive and I don’t know why he did,” said Erickson.
But with the issue of suicide coming out of the darkness, organizers say many lives can be saved.
This was the tenth year for the walk.