Suicide Survivors "Walk Out Of The Darkness"

11:04 AM, Oct 5, 2013   |    comments
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Kernersville NC -- There are now more people dying from suicides than car accidents in the United States, according to the CDC.

Yet, some advocates say as a society there's still a stigma when it comes to talking about it.

But, a group of Triad "suicide survivors," are walking out of the darkness to shine light on the subject and save lives.

The 8th annual Out of the Darkness Walk brought out more than 300 people to Triad Park in Kernersville on Saturday morning.

There were suicide survivors, those struggling with mental illness and supporters who were honoring the memories of victims and raising money for work toward prevention.

"There's always hope, there's always someone to help. A lot of time it's just the medication or needing to talk to someone or talking to the right person," Mara O'Neil said.

She lost her sister about three years ago.

She says Lindsay was 29 and seemed to have had everything going for her but she fell into depression while battling Crohn's Disease and later took her own life.

"If people can get to where they are not afraid to talk about it and they are not afraid to reach out and not afraid to seek help, then they can get the help they need and hopefully we can prevent a lot of suicides in the future,' said Meredy Swafford who also lost her husband to suicide in December of 2005.

She says support and events like the Out of the Darkness walk have been instrumental in her healing.

There were a lot of different organizations - from hospice to counseling groups - at the event to give people information on where to get help.

There was also a memory-area set up, where people could draw or write a message to honor their loved ones.

For more information and resources to help you deal with the loss of a loved-one or your personal struggles and thoughts of suicide, visit

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
For younger people there's a Youth-line: 1-877-968-8454

Our triad counties have resources as well:

Alamance-Caswell Area Mental Health
Emergency Services
24 hours / 7 days

Teen Crisis Line
Youth Focus, Inc.
4pm - Midnight

Mental Health Association in Greensboro

Winston-Salem Contact Helpline of the Triad


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