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Out of the Darkness: Benefit walk to remember friends, family lost to suicide

Image: Out of the Darkness Source: MGN Online

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention says each year more than 44,000 people die by suicide.

More than a thousand walkers showed their support for survivors and lives lost while walking through downtown Pensacola Saturday morning.

The second annual Out of the Darkness Walk supports people affected by such losses.

Pam Waters said her son committed suicide in July of 2015.

"Suicide touches everybody in some way and we feel that if we can help one person then it's worth whatever we can do," said Waters.

It is Anetia Dukes and her daughter Ja'Miyah Lattimore's first time participating in the benefit walk.

Ja'Miyah attempted suicide after being bullied in school.

Her mother said the most important lesson to parents is if they think their child is being bullied, take immediate action.

"It's a lot in the community that people don't know about, especially with bullying and harassing from adults and kids. I'm just glad that we can come out here and just let her know that she is not alone," Dukes added.

Organizers want people to know that there is a community for those struggling and for those who want to be more educated.

"It's sad that we all have to be here for this reason, but it’s amazing that so many people can come together in this community to get this out there, to let everyone know that this is an issue and we are going to do what we can to stop it," said organizer Jamie Thurman.

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention on average, there are 121 suicides each day.

But with every statistic, there is a heartbreaking story.

"The more you become involved in this cause, the more people you find are affected by it, no one is immune, no one is immune,” said Pam Waters.

Last year, the event raised $50,000 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. So far, organizers say the event has raised more than $37,000.

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