Survivors of suicide loss walked through downtown Crawfordsville Monday to share the message that mental health matters.
Local group The Honest Woman kicked off A Walk of Hope from Pike Place to spread awareness of suicide prevention and raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
“You’re here for a reason and just know that. Your life is worthy,” said The Honest Woman co-founder Taylor Ratcliff, whose brother died by suicide and said she had suicidal thoughts while battling postpartum depression.
The walk was spearheaded by Pace Dairy employee Kaylie Edwards, who wanted to do something to publicly remember her best friend Taylor Lively on the first anniversary of her death. Trinity Life Ministry sponsored the event.
Edwards led the group of more than a dozen people carrying signs reading “You Are Not Alone” and “Keep Going” as they strolled past lunch hour traffic.
There is no single cause of suicide, experts say. Depression is the most common condition associated with suicide, and it often goes undiagnosed or untreated. Coping skills, support and treatment work for most people who have thoughts about suicide.
“I figured if I beat cancer, I could rise up over this,” said Charlene Hall, who also walked in memory of a co-worker.
Jocele Harrison’s son Harold F. Barclay, died by suicide in 2008 at the age of 20. Addressing the walkers, she held up a picture of Barclay with his daughter, Lily, who was 16 months old when he died.
“I could show Lily pictures. I tell her stories frequently, but it’s not the same as knowing your dad,” Harrison said.
Experts say if you’re worried about someone who may be contemplating suicide, assume you are the only one who will reach out. Avoid debating the value of life, minimizing their problems or giving advice. It’s okay to ask directly about suicide.
If you or someone you know has contemplated suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text TALK to 741741.