Posted at: 09/15/2012 11:35 PM
By: Katie Eldred
Out of the Darkness Suicide Prevention Walk
(ABC 6 News) -- Every fifteen minutes in the United States someone takes their own life. One group in Rochester went the extra mile on Saturday to bring the issue of suicide out of the darkness. Organizers hope the awareness can help save lives.
It's a tragic date Deb Gustafson will never forget.
"Our son took his life august 5th of 2011."
Her son suffered from depression for years. Deb and her family have been attending events like the “Out of the Darkness Walk” to cope.
"It's an emotional train wreck, but it's good and it helps," said Gustafson.
One look through the crowd at the "Out of the Darkness" event you can see Gustafson is not alone.
"My husband killed himself in 2008," said Mandi Derr.
Derr now an organizer of the event says the community support is important.
"This was something that people didn't talk about, it was hush-hush."
Janice Hurtado Aeppli of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention or AFSP says suicide can leaves families feeling helpless.
"All of the unanswered questions, why did this happen? why couldn't we help? and what can we do now to survive this?" said Hurtado Aeppli.
According to AFSP 90 percent of those that take their own lives have a treatable psychiatric disorder. That’s why they say it's important to let people know there are so many other options.
"The suicide rates are growing, it's really important for us to get the word out and prevent them," said Hurtado Aeppli.
"To make kids and adults aware that the help is out there, and we need to let them know where they can get that," said Derr.
The “Out of the Darkness” event raises funds for research and local programs.
It also offers the support and comfort to the families that have lost loved ones.
"I miss his smile, miss his laugh, all the funny things that he did," said Gustafson.
The Rochester branch of AFSP is looking for more volunteers. If you would like to help out we’ve posted information under links.