Walk for suicide awareness

To the editor:

As the Out of the Darkness Marshall High School, Southwest Minnesota State University Community Campus Walk draws closer I would like to share a few things. These things are not easy to talk about and most rather turn away than face some serious statistics about suicide.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth and young adults between the ages of 10 and 24 in the United States. In Minnesota for 2017, suicide is the No. 1 cause of death of 10-17 year olds followed by unintentional accidents.

The agonizing grief, fear and confusion of this tragic loss of life is not limited to the individual or even the immediate family. The impact extends throughout communities and across generations, and can increase the risk of suicide for those touched by the loss. Our family totally understands what these statistics mean because we lost our beautiful son, grandson, nephew, cousin and friend at the age of 17 to depression leading to suicide. We didn’t understand before our loss how much he was suffering with depression, to us his actions didn’t seem any different than any of his friends.We learned very quickly what the statistics are and were forced to look at them and know that we are now apart of those numbers but as survivors of someone that died by suicide.

The students have worked hard to bring this walk to our community to help raise awareness about suicide prevention and mental illness. We use a portion of the raised funds for local training, programs and events to educate about suicide prevention and mental illness.

The Out of the Darkness Campus Walks are sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s signature student fundraising series, which is designed to encourage youth and young adults in the fight to prevent suicide.

The Out of the Darkness Campus Walk is a journey of remembrance, hope, and support that unites our campus and communities and also a time to acknowledge the ways in which suicide and mental illness have affected our lives and the lives of our loved ones.

Join us at 8 a.m. April 21, at Marshall High School. The event will start with registration including a little breakfast boost. Information tables will be available and Luke Nelson will speak. The walk will begin after a moment of silence.

Shannon Carrow