514 people walk for suicide prevention awareness in Cape Girarde - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

514 people walk for suicide prevention awareness in Cape Girardeau, MO

(Source: Mike Mohundro, KFVS) (Source: Mike Mohundro, KFVS)

The 6th annual Out of the Darkness Walk event brought in 514 walkers to the Cape Girardeau County Park on Sunday. 

The walk is to honor all those lost to suicide, spread awareness of suicide and mental illness, and promote suicide prevention.

Many on hand had a loved one they lost to suicide or had suicidal thoughts or attempted it themselves. 

As part of raising awareness, they also honored those loved ones by walking around the park where the people filled the streets and carrying around signs of loved ones and personal messages. 

Included at the event were 22 pairs of boots lined up with American Flags that represent the 22 veterans that die by suicide everyday in the nation. 

One person we talked with said she is a survivor of suicidal attempts and also had a close family member die by suicide. 

"Depression and suicidal thoughts, that's something on the inside," Samantha Waters said. "So to them you look fine but inside you're dying. For me to overcome that and get out every day, it's really big. And to be here to see everybody supporting the cause, that means a lot too."

She said the best way to overcome struggles is to be open about it, seek help and to talk about it with others to help them as well. 

"If I'm quiet about my suicide struggles, then somebody else can't relate to me," Waters said. "But if I'm honest and open about my struggle with suicide then I can help somebody else."

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S. Each year 42,773 Americans die by suicide and for every suicide, there is 25 who attempt suicide. Suicide costs the U.S. 44 billion dollars annually. 

$18,021 of donations were raised at this year's event. 

Community Walks are part of a nationwide movement to raise money for AFSP's research and education programs to prevent suicide and save lives, increase national awareness about depression and suicide, and assist survivors of suicide loss.

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