Mid-Missouri chapter of AFSP hosts suicide prevention walk

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FULTON - The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) Mid-Missouri Chapter hosted Fulton's third Out of Darkness Walk Saturday.

More than 100 showed up to the walk and wore shirts with pictures of friends and family who were victims of suicide, while others carried signs in memory of their loved ones.

Melody Seiger is the Mid-Missouri AFSP Chapter chair. She lost her mother to suicide and said she wanted to change the way people think about suicide and mental illness.

"I wanted to erase that stigma that people are afraid to talk about suicide, people are afraid to mention the word or mention the word mental illness," Seiger said. "I wanted people to know it's absolutely OK to talk about mental illness and that by talking about it, we're going to prevent suicide in our community."

Seiger said suicide is a community issue.

"It takes a village to prevent suicide," Sieger said.

The AFSP fully covers the state of Missouri and the organization offers question, persuade, refer (QPR) training and SafeTALK training to help members of the community know how to help someone who might be suicidal.

Seiger said the training is important because suicide is the tenth leading cause of death overall and the second leading cause of death in teenagers.

"Today is about celebrating life," Sieger said, "as well as remembering those we have lost to suicide."