Pioneers host walk for suicide prevention
Heather Hines, Reporter
TWU will host Out of the Darkness, a suicide prevention walk on April 2, from 8 a.m. to noon in an effort to raise awareness and educate attendees about suicide prevention and to also recognize individuals who may be dealing with depression.
Registration for the walk is free and can be done online or in person on the day of. Donations are accepted and go to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Five senior Social Work majors are managing the walk as part of a class project, detailing a social worker’s relationship with his or her community. This is the first Out of the Darkness walk held at TWU, and a $7,500 donation goal has been set.
Senior social work major Shammah Jima stated: “Suicide is really prevalent with younger people, and this walk will help to bring awareness. This walk helps takes the stigma off of [suicidal thoughts] and the shame off of it and that can help people.”
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention ranks suicide as the tenth leading cause of death in American adults, and fourth leading cause of death in Texas teenagers and young adults. Hosting an Out of the Darkness walk costs only fifty dollars and brings information to the residence of America’s most suicidal age group.
Jima explained: “You’re helping shed light on an issue. By walking, you’re bringing it out into the light and taking away the shame.”
The classmates hosting an Out of the Darkness walk will also provide educational materials about recognizing suicidal behaviors and to encourage struggling individuals to reach out for help instead of feeling ashamed. For anyone needing immediate help, TWU professor of social work Dr. Erin Kyle will be present at the walk.
Senior social work major Chelette McClendon stated: “By coming, [students] can learn some of those signs of suicide and maybe help a friend. Just because it’s not you, and no one has told you, doesn’t mean you don’t know somebody struggling.”