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People gather together in City Park for the MOV Out of the Darkness Walk

Published: Sep. 25, 2021 at 9:51 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - “It’s great to have this many people that are out here. You know, they came out here just because. And they’re here because they care,” says Out of the Darkness event coordinator, Jackie Scott.

People gathered in City Park for this year’s Mid-Ohio Valley Out of the Darkness Walk Saturday. People came together to remember people who have died by suicide, and to support people who are battling mental health issues.

“For people who have lost somebody, there’s a comradery in having other people there that can share in your grief and that can understand what kind of grief it is,” says Scott. “Because it is something that’s totally different. And for those who are attempted survivors, it’s a community where you can say how you really feel.”

Tony Williams says he and his wife know all too well about losing loved ones to suicide.

Williams says, “We try and do a lot of charitable things here in the Mid-Ohio Valley. And I asked my wife, the boss, if she wanted to do this. And she says, ‘Well, what is it this time?’ And I say, ‘It’s for National Suicide Prevention.’ And she says, ‘We’re doing that!’ I said, ‘Okay.’ So, that’s why we got involved. It’s more than a thing where you want to help out. There’s also an emotional tug for both of us and the people we’ve lost due to suicide.”

The event held its annual bead ceremony with colors indicating why they are walking today. But there’s an added feature this year, with different colored sand, mixed together and given out to those attending.

Scott says, “There’s no way you can take this back apart. It’s like this forever now.”

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, you can call 1-800-273-8255.

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