Suicide prevention walk aims to remove stigma surrounding suicide

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DANVILLE (WSLS 10) - A Danville woman is trying to encourage people to talk about the issue of suicide.

Leanne Harvy has organized the "Out of the Darkness" suicide prevention walk for the second year and is the chairwoman of the Danville-Pittsylvania County Out of the Darkness Walk support group.

Her goal is to get as many people talking about the issue as possible, so that those who may be thinking about suicide will be more likely to get help.

She said people thinking about suicide may want to get help, but often don't know how.

"There's been such a stigma attached to suicide for so long that people don't know how to talk about it, they're afraid to talk about. It's just an ugly word in general," Harvy said.

She also wants to give people coping with the loss of a loved one to suicide an outlet to talk to others who are also coping or have in the past.

"By bringing together survivors like me who've lost a loved one to suicide, it lets people know that they're not going through the struggles of living in the aftermath of suicide alone," explained Harvy.

She hopes raise at least $40,000 with this year's event. All of the money will be used to help bring more suicide prevention resources into local schools and to pay for a member of the support group to receive training on how to facilitate suicide support groups in Southside.

The event starts at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Carrington Pavillion in Danville and will include hot dogs, drinks, and activities for kids.

Anyone wishing who cannot make it to the event but still wants to donate to the group can do so online.

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