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Out Of The Darkness: Suicide Awareness Walk to be held in Fargo

Fargo is one of 360 communities nationwide to participate in the upcoming Out of the Darkness Walk for suicide prevention and awareness.

Brenda Weiler is the treasurer for the North Dakota Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and will participate in the walk.  She says every four days, someone loses their life to suicide in North Dakota.

"I don't think that most people realize how many people we lose, especially in smaller communities in smaller states like ours.  People don't realize how big of an impact it actually has."

Weiler lost her own sister to suicide ten years ago.  This year will be the 9th year the Out of the Darkness Walk has been held in Fargo, and Weiler says these types of events are important for awareness, and to provide fellowship among those affected by suicide.

"It's really healing, I think it's very therapeutic for families to just be able to be open about what happened to them and what happened to their loved ones, because oftentimes in daily life, you know your workplace, or even your church sometimes - you don't feel comfortable talking about it. And so you end up holding a lot of stuff in about that experience.  And that's just from the survivor's perspective. I think that someone who is dealing with depression or anxiety or bipolar as an individual or as a family, it's similar in that they don't feel like they have a community to rely on or people that understand what it's like.  These types of events just build awareness around those issues so people can feel comfortable."

Weiler says the national suicide hotline is 1-800-273-TALK, and is a free 24-7 resource for anyone struggling.  She says learning the factors and warning signs of suicide are also good to know in case you may be in a position to help someone.  The Out of the Darkness Walk is open for anyone who wants to support the cause.  This year's walk is expected to draw about 14-hundred people and will be held September 21st in Fargo's Lindenwood Park, between 2 and 4pm.

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