Hun­dreds par­tic­i­pate in sui­cide preven­tion walk

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - IS­SUE By JANE BELLMYER

jbellmyer@ce­cil­whig.com

— Fam­i­lies and friends touched by sui­cide gath­ered Satur­day to par­tic­i­pate in the Out of the Dark­ness Walk on be­half of the Amer­i­can Foun­da­tion for Sui­cide Preven­tion.

More than 300 peo­ple took a three mile hike through the Ce­cil County Fair­grounds to re­mem­ber those lost and to en­cour­age those strug­gling against men­tal ill­ness.

“There is hope. There is hope in your loss,” said

FAIR HILL

Shirley Mur­ray-Bailiff, a Ris­ing Sun woman whose son Mike Mur­ray took his own life in 2011. Mur­rayBailiff ex­plained how join­ing a sup­port group helped her cope and urged oth­ers to do like­wise.

Lora Wal­ters said that same type of sup­port, plus vol­un­teer­ing with walk or­ga­niz­ers, is help­ing her come to terms with the loss of her hus­band Greg. Wal­ters, from North East, said Greg suf­fered a brain in­jury first and lived with the af­ter ef­fects un­til Sept. 2013.

Con­nor Rea­gan came from Ne­wark, Del. to Fair Hill to walk with his mother. The 13-year-old said he knows a lot of peo­ple strug­gling with de­pres­sion.

“I’m here to raise aware­ness of sui­cide,” Rea­gan said.

“And I’m here to sup­port my won­der­ful boy so he knows he’s not alone,” said his mother, Linda Rea­gan, ac­knowl­edg­ing Con­nor’s strug­gles. “We are very lucky.”

This is the sec­ond Out

of the Dark­ness Walk in Ce­cil County. A year ago the walk was held in Elk­ton. Ev Mueller, the event’s or­ga­nizer, said the larger venue this year made for a more serene walk­ing en­vi­ron­ment. Teams took to the course, many wear­ing com­mem­o­ra­tive T-shirts

bear­ing the name of their friend or fam­ily mem­ber lost to sui­cide.

“Don’t let any­one for­get your loved one, what a lovely, won­der­ful per­son they were,” Mur­ray-Bailiff en­cour­aged the at­ten­dees.

And Linda Rea­gan said the ad­vice she gives Con­nor is good for all.

“He needs to con­tinue to com­mu­ni­cate and we will keep each other safe,” she said.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JANE BELLMYER

Ev Mueller, or­ga­nizer of the Out of the Dark­ness Walk held Satur­day to sup­port the Amer­i­can Foun­da­tion for Sui­cide Preven­tion, said more than 300 par­tic­i­pated.

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