Each year 42,773 Americans commit suicide. It is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s (AFSP) website.
To help spread awareness, hundreds of Akronites walked across The University of Akron campus during the third annual Out of the Darkness suicide prevention walk on April 24.
The suicide prevention walk is meant to bring people together to make a difference in society and stop tragic loss of life.
Attendees wore necklaces of different colored beads to show for whom they were walking. White meant the loss of a child; red meant a spouse or partner; gold meant a parent; orange meant a sibling; purple meant a relative of a friend, and so on.
Junior Jaiden Shadwick was shocked by how many people attended the event.
“So many people I see in everyday life are here supporting this cause wearing all the different colored necklaces, and I never would have thought any of these people struggled with suicide in their lives,” Shadwick said.
Many students were comforted by the fact that many people walked to show their support.
UA sociology student Brianna Rankin walked for the first time this year.
“Sometimes it feels like the battle is an individual’s to fight and without help or support, the solution is often suicide,” Rankin said. “It was great to be a part of something so important while feeling accepted.”
It is important to begin to support one another and stop the stigma that revolves around mental illness. If someone is struggling with a crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.