ROGERS, Ark. — There is a certain stigma surrounding suicide. Some people have a hard time talking about it and even thinking about it. Student and staff organizers of the Out of the Darkness walk at Rogers High School want to erase that stigma once and for all.
“It’s really not something that should be difficult to talk about,” said Alyssa Huerta, an Out of the Darkness student organizer. “I know it definitely is, especially with people our age, but it shouldn’t be because it’s about our lives that we’re talking about, our loved ones.”
Saturday’s event drew a crowd of hundreds from all over the Rogers community. Members of the military, first responders, parents, teachers, and students from surrounding high schools all came together with one goal in mind: raising suicide awareness and prevention.
“It’s hard on a lot of people and for us to be able to put this on to help these people to see that people care, this is a whole community event, we’re here for each other,” said Payton Parsons, a student organizer for the Out of the Darkness Walk.
Opening the door for dialogue about suicide, recognizing when someone might need help, and having difficult conversations are all steps in the right direction for making a difference.
“It might save someone’s life and that’s what we’re here to do,” said Lakyn Crumbly, a teacher at Rogers High School. “Suicide is everyone’s business and ultimately, having those tough conversations can save a life. One person can make a huge change.”
People at the event wore colored beaded necklaces to represent their own personal connection to suicide. The eventual goal is for everyone to wear blue in support of suicide prevention.
Saturday’s walk was free, but any donations received went to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The organization gives eighty percent of all proceeds back to communities and with the remainder going towards education and training.
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