TELEVISION PARK– National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Phone Number: 1-800-273-8255
Allen Meshey knows the devastation those left behind feel after a loved one commits suicide.
“My wife and I lost our 15 year old son to suicide.”
He organized Aiken’s first Out of the Darkness Walk in 2013.
“And if that helps in any way, I’m just going to continue to use our loss for someone else’s gain.”
The Centers for Disease Control reports on average, one person commits suicide every 16 minutes. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in people from age 10 to age 34. Risk factors for suicide vary by age, gender, and ethnic group.
Two people who know a lot about those statistics are with us now: Lisa Tindal, Executive Director of Mental Health America of Aiken County, and
Juliana Boatwright Taylor.
Juliana lost her father to suicide 20 years ago. She is heading up this year’s walk for family and friends who had lost loved ones to suicide, so they will be able to grieve with others in similar circumstances. She believes that by bringing the community together, the message was about bringing the often whispered tragedy out in the open– out of the darkness.
The walk will be held this year on Sunday, November 6th, 2:00-3:30pm at H. Odell Weeks Center, 1700 Whiskey Road in Aiken
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Out of the Darkness Walk is designed to honor those who have lost loved ones to suicide and is a fundraiser for AFSP Research and Prevention. Tindal says that while the walk does not benefit her agency, MHA, there are connections between people affected by suicide. As an advocate she works to prevent this tragedy from happening in the lives others.