continued She added that for many years, families who lost a loved one to suicide considered it a taboo subject and one they felt needed to be “kept a secret.”
“They feel somehow the family must have failed, or that they had done something wrong,” she said.
According to Reid, research suggests that over 90 percent of victims of suicide had a diagnosable mental illness, usually depression. It also suggests many who contemplate suicide give warning signs or reach out for help before taking their own lives. The Association for Suicide Prevention has conducted over 100 studies over the past five years.
“We know that there is an underlying cause … just like anything else,” said Reid. “This is no different than cancer or diabetes or Alzheimer’s and it’s something we need to talk about and raise awareness about.”
According to figures from the association, more than 36,000 people commit suicide every year. That averages out to one suicide every 15 minutes, making suicide the country’s tenth leading cause of death. Reid and others argue though, that the statistics may not represent all suicides.
“A suicide may not always be reported as such, if there was not a suicide note or if it looks like it was an accident or something like that. … There’s also research and other policies and studies being done to make sure that we have the most accurate reporting,” said Reid.
She added suicide does not discriminate, though historically, the trend that is known is that it is the third leading cause of death among teens and young adults between ages 18 and 24.
The Capital Region Chapter of the Foundation of Suicide Prevention hosts four other walks in the area including ones in Potsdam, Malone, Lake Placid and Hudson. A suicide hotline is available 24/7 at1-800-273-TALK (8255).
The Out of the Darkness Walk for R.I.T.A. will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 16, at the Saratoga Race Course. Check in opens at 8:30 a.m.
For more on the walk, visit www.outofthedarkness.org.