Out of the Darkness sheds light on suicide

Dear Editor,

In the United States, a person dies by suicide every 15 minutes, claiming more than 34,000 lives a year.

It is estimated that an attempt is made every minute, with close to one million people attempting suicide annually.

The notion that a person can die from sadness seems to be unimaginable to people.

I would hope that not another person would have to feel that desperation and sadness, but unfortunately, that is not the case.

On Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention will be holding its annual Out of the Darkness Walk.

Last year, the Birmingham Walk ranked third in the nation with 1,660 walkers, and raised almost $140,000! This year, 667 pairs of shoes will line the pathway of the walk, representing the number of lives lost to suicide in one year in the state of Alabama.

Suicide seems only to be mentioned after someone has regrettably been successful. Think how many people suffer in silence each year, because of the stigma society has attached.

Suicide does not discriminate — everyone can be affected, no matter your age, race or sex. This walk offers the community a chance to walk in honor of loved ones, to support the cause, and raise awareness.

It’s time to shed light on an uncomfortable, but all too common, occurrence.

One suicide in our community is one too many.

Kelsey Allison

Indian Springs