Suicide is never easy to talk about, but many in our community came together on Saturday, virtually, to raise awareness for the 10th leading cause of death in the country.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Out of the Darkness Toledo Walk is virtual this year, but it didn't stop walkers from taking steps in memory of those who lost their lives to suicide.
"Hopefully to bring our walk individually to people in their own little community or their own little group, so they can basically, be in our hearts and on our minds, that we're all doing and we're all working for the same thing today," said Peggy Myers of Toledo Out of the Darkness Experience.
Organizers encouraged others to have their own walk in honor of their loved ones. Many did just that and joined in across town.
"All the souls that have lost their lives, there's so many, and they're on the uptick right now due to the virus. People are losing their jobs, they're losing hope, so I'm walking for all of those souls," said Queen Cookie, walk participant.
Queen Cookie shared the story of her grandson and his mother, who both died by suicide. She is honoring them and so many others by joining the walk.
"The virus did not stop me because of my love and compassion for my grandson and his mother," said Queen Cookie.
Some of those walking are wearing beads around their neck. The 9 different colors represent a person they lost to suicide.
"The beads are very significant. Blue is support of the cause of suicide prevention. Green means that you struggle yourself with some sort of mental health issues. Orange, I wear for my brother Rich who died almost 10 years ago by suicide," said Myers.
Although this walk was a little different this time around participants and organizers say they are already looking forward to next year.
"Well hopefully the Covid will be out of here next year and will be back downtown at Promenade Park next year," said Queen Cookie.
If you or anyone you know is suffering through thoughts of suicide, know you're not alone. For information on how you can make a donation or find to help you can click here.