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Out Of The Darkness walk raises suicide awareness in hopes of increasing prevention

Thousands came to the walk Saturday at Stinson Park to show support for those affected by suicide
Posted at 11:55 AM, Sep 18, 2022

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The topic of suicide is never easy to discuss, especially for those who’ve lost someone they know and love.

On Saturday, thousands came out to this year’s Out Of The Darkness Walk honoring the stories of those lost to suicide, while expressing support for survivors.

"I’ve struggled in my teenage years with suicidal thoughts and also with depression," said Ruby Trevino.

Trevino said she was able to come out of her depression and has since been a help to others struggling. Sadly, not everyone's outcome is so positive.

Doug and Debby Fehr lost their son Joseph about five years ago.

"When it happened, our family encouraged us to join the walk and advocate for people who are struggling. Who are facing similar challenges," said Doug Fehr.

The Fehrs were featured speakers at the walk event, during their address to the crowd they shared a sobering statistic.

In 2020, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) reported just under 46,000 people died by suicide in the U.S. Of that number, 283 were from Nebraska.

Jennifer Sparrock, AFSP board chair-elect and walk organizer said it’s a sign that the approach to suicide and depression needs to change because anyone can be affected by it.

"It's not like I have mental health and you don’t have mental health," she said. "We all have mental health and so we should be treating this as a public health issue and we all have a role to play in it."

Walkers agree, saying the best thing everyone can do is have more conversations.

"We need to just talk about it so much more," Debby Fehr said. "Talk about our struggle (with) suicide and mental health."

"You never know who’s smiling through their tears and you never know who’s at their breaking point," said LaShaun McCroy. "Hurt is hurt. Pain is pain. It doesn’t discriminate at all."

Funds raised from Saturday’s walk will go towards outreach and education on suicide awareness. Sparrock said AFSP Nebraska is always looking for volunteers. You can find that information on their website.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental illness, you can call 988 to be connected to help.

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