Event helps suicide survivors grieve together, raise awareness

5k walk set for 2:30 p.m. Saturday

INDIANAPOLIS - It is National Suicide Prevention Week and a free event over the weekend will help survivors grieve together and raise awareness.

The Out of the Darkness Walk for suicide prevention will be held Saturday and event organizers were expecting about 1,700 people to fill the lawn at White River State Park.

One grieving mom said her 12-year-old daughter, Rebecca, committed suicide this week after being bullied online for more than a year.

"The most heartbreaking thing as a mom is I couldn't do anything to stop it. I didn't know anything about it," Tricia Norman said.

Rebecca represents one of the tens of thousands who die at their own hands every year in the U.S.

Lisa Brattain lost her son to suicide too. She said she searched for local resources that just weren't there.

"I couldn't find a local way for survivors to take action, kind of in the same way that survivors of breast cancer have a community that they can, and people who have lost someone to heart disease have a community. There wasn't anything here for survivors," Brattain said.

Brattain started the Indiana chapter of AFSP - the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. She has been involved with the Indianapolis Out of the Darkness Walk since it began nine years ago.

The free event will have mental health professionals, offer resources, raise awareness and accept donations.

"50 percent of what we raise goes to fund research, which is absolutely necessary because we are in the toddler stages of understanding depression and suicide," Brattain said.

The rest will help fund suicide-prevention programs that are made available to all schools for free.

Brattain said the key to preventing more tragedies like the one she's been through is knowledge.

"He was a football player and a rugby player and he had tough guy syndrome so he didn't want to talk about it. And we didn't know what kind of conversations we needed to be having with our doctor, with each other," she said.

The 5k walk will have a remembrance stop at the halfway point where people can write chalk messages to the loved ones they have lost.

Register online for the Out of the Darkness Walk  until noon on Friday. After that, participants can register on site right up until the opening ceremonies at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Anyone in crisis is encouraged to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK.

Follow Tanya Spencer on Twitter: @tanyaspencer6 | Facebook: Tanya Spencer

Print this article Back to Top