Reach out to conquer suicide

At exactly this moment, someone holds a bottle of pills in their hand, the metal of a gun to their head, the sharp blade of a knife to their wrists.

These aren’t images most of us care to imagine but the reailty is someone somewhere in this country attempts suicide every minute of the day.

These images should well our eyes up with tears and tighten our chests. They should also bring us to action.

The Alabama Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention offers a way this month for us all to show we are here for and want to provide hope for those people that feel hopeless.

The Out of Darkness walk scheduled for Nov. 7 at Heardmont Park aims to draw out more than 1,000 people to better educate the community about the immense impact suicide has on our society.

In Alabama, in 2009, there were 667 suicides.

We have heard so much in national and even local news about suicide lately. Whether it’s a teenager feeling bullied, an adult feeling helpless to fix situations in their lives or someone living with a terminal disease, suicide hits people from a variety of angles.

It’s our duty as a society to let these people know they do have other options. It’s our duty as family to help those we love seek help for their depression.

Almost 75 percent of people contemplating suicide give warning signs prior to ending their life. We must watch for those signs and let those we love know we are there for them.

If you have thought about suicide, please believe, it’s worth the fight. It’s worth fighting to get to a place in your life where the depression doesn’t overpower you and where you can yet again discover even the small things that make life worth living.

Registration for the walk begins at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 7. For more information, contact AFSP Area Director Lisa Dunn at 323-4433 or by e-mail

Samantha Hurst is an associate editor at the Shelby County Reporter. She can be reached at 669-3131 ext.19 or by e-mail at