Daphne, AL (WKRG)
Hundreds of people circled the Daphne City Hall Today for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s (AFSP) “Out of the Darkness” Walk.
Over one hundred people took to the streets in support of those affected by suicide.
It’s all part of the AFSP’s out of the darkness campaign.
The foundation raises money to fund suicide prevention training, develop intervention programs, and advocate for policy.
In the United States, a person dies by suicide every 13.3 minutes, claiming more than 39,500 lives each year. Every year close to one million people attempt suicide.
Ashley Foster of AFSP attempted suicide when she was 27 years old.
At the time she didn’t know what else to do.
“I didn’t want to die but I wanted the pain that I was feeling to end,” said Foster.
Finally, after talking to her parents and getting help she realized that depression is a disease, and like other diseases, it could be treated.
“It’s a legit illness, disease, something just like cancer or diabetes,” said Foster.
By speaking out she hopes to encourage others to do the same whether it’s sharing your story in public or talking to a professional.
“That horrible feeling will pass. I still get those feelings but I know that the majority of the time I am happy and that time will pass,” said Foster.
According to the Alabama Department of Health, suicide is the second cause of death among teenagers and young adults.
Bayle Moran is a student at Daphne Middle School. As a 13-year-old student, she is aware of the struggles that many kids go through.
“They will just call you bad stuff and let you down and you lose your confidence,” said Moran.
As a peer partner, she encourages young people to ‘come out of the darkness’ and talk to someone.
“Like if you hold it inside it will just build up and it will cause you to have depression and you might commit suicide one day and we don’t want that to happen,” said Moran.
Thanks to walkers and donors AFSP has been able to set a goal to reduce the annual suicide rate 20 percent by the year 2025.
You can donate online also, from now until December 31, 2016, at afsp.donordrive.com.
When you walk in the “Out of the Darkness” walks, you join the efforts of thousands of people to raise awareness and funds to create educational programs, and support survivors of suicide loss.