Walking to save lives and bring awareness to suicide prevention

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Pictures and notes honoring loved ones at the Out of the Darkness walk (Photo: Jenna Kurzyna/WWAY)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington held their American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Out of the Darkness walk this afternoon.

“Last year over 8 million Americans considered suicide, and over 1.1 million acted on those thoughts and 44,000 people took their lives,” Co-Chairman of the walk Rainey Scrocco said.

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After losing a family member, Scrocco became passionate about raising awareness for suicide prevention.

“In 2004 I lost my brother to suicide after he survived cancer and it was an awful thing for our family to go through and we just hope that no family will ever have to through what these families have had to go through,” Scrocco said.

During the out of darkness walk dozens of people came to honor their loved ones who took their own lives.

Jim Cooper who has lost multiple family members to suicide said it’s hard to move past losing a loved one to suicide.

While this event was a fun way to show support is there, starting conversations and erasing stigmas associated with suicide was one of the missions.

Pat Bradford, who has also lost a family member to suicide said even doing something as simple as saying hello to someone can help save a life.

“Just awareness, getting the conversation started. We need light in the darkness, we need conversation about suicide,” Bradford said. “Hey, they had this suicide walk at Wrightsville Beach today. Have you ever thought about taking your life, do you know anybody who has taken their life? Get the conversation started.”

The event co-chair said she wants people to know there is hope for those left behind and those struggling.