Walk, Raise Awareness, Save Lives

It claims 36,000 lives each year in the United States alone.

Suicide.

Nearly one million people attempt suicide each year. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S.

In St. Clair County alone there is a suicide approximately every two weeks.

St. Clair County hosted their annual Out of the Darkness Community Walk from 12 p.m.-3 p.m. on Oct. 9 at East China Park, corner of M-29 and Recor Rd.

These 3-5 mile walks occur in over 250 communities across the nation.

Walkers at the Suicide Prevention Walk on Oct. 9 with t-shirts in remembrance of their deceased loved one. Photo Credit: Liz Whittemore

Walkers at the Suicide Prevention Walk on Oct. 9 with t-shirts in remembrance of their deceased loved one. Photo Credit: Liz Whittemore

Proceeds from these events go to the AFSP to research suicide and put out educational programs to prevent suicide, increase awareness, and also to provide support for those who have lost a loved one to suicide.

Former Captain of the Port Huron Police Department and now instructor at SC4 Jim Jones shared that as a policeman, he took many of the suicide calls. The Out of the Darkness Walk is, “…such an important event for so many survivors of suicide,” said Jones.

Over four hundred people showed up to walk and support the event. Volunteer Matt Roy, a junior at Algonac High School said, “My mom committed suicide when I was younger, so for like the past four years me and my sister have been going to the walk…this is the first year we helped.”

SC4 Criminal Justice Club members Justin King and Matthew Boyd came out to show their support and help out with the event.

Jones commented, “As long as that need is there, we’ll be part of it.”

CJC member and Student Government Treasurer Matthew Boyd said, “I’m one of the lucky ones. I’ve never had anyone close to me commit suicide.”

Donations will be accepted until Dec. 31 and information can be found on afsp.donordrive.com.

For those who have lost a loved one, there is a Survivors of Suicide Support Group that meets on the second Tuesday and fourth Wednesday of every month. For locations and times, contact Amy Smith at 810-985-8900 or asmith@scccmh.org.

Liz Whittemore

Photo Editor

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