Hundreds participate in suicide prevention walk
— 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
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.
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.