Walk to raise suicide awareness

Zach Henson

Staff Writer

Troy Regional Medical Center and Troy University are partnering to host an Out of the Darkness Community Walk to raise awareness for suicide prevention.

Out of the Darkness Community Walks are nationwide events supporting the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).

Money raised from the walk will fund research, educational resources and advocacy for suicide prevention through the AFSP, explained Amy Minor, the chief nursing officer at Troy Regional Medical Center and walk chairwoman.

“I think it’s important to create awareness,” said Minor. “It’s something that oftentimes is, you know, it feels taboo.

“People don’t talk about it, but we need to talk about it. We need to give those people, who are having feelings that they don’t know how to handle, a resource.”

The walk will be held on Sunday, Nov. 5. Registration will begin at 1 p.m., and the walk will take place from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on the Troy University track.

Josh Johnson, meteorologist at WSFA, will be the opening speaker and begin the event along with the Pledge of Allegiance, a prayer and an initial memory lap for families who have been affected by suicide.

The event will conclude with a butterfly release honoring those lost to suicide.

Minor explained that the walk can be a resource to those who have lost relatives or friends.

Morgan Arnold, a senior criminal justice major from Montgomery, attended an Out of the Darkness walk in Montgomery.

“It was a sad time, but it was also a joyful time, too,” Arnold said, explaining that it was a chance to celebrate her mother, who passed away due to suicide in January.

“Just the support, really, is like the main part of the walk,” Arnold said. “The walks are important just to show that people do care.

“It just lets you know that you’re not alone, that there are people out there that are going through the same thing that you’re going through and that even though you may feel like your world is falling apart, that you’re not alone and you can get through it.”

The main goal is to help people realize that they can seek help instead of taking their own lives, explained Minor.

Individuals and teams can register early at AFSP.org/troy. Teams can either donate themselves or receive pledges from others for each lap walked during the event.

T-shirts will be sold during the walk, and a silent auction benefiting the walk will be held during the Troy University football game on Thursday, Nov. 2.

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