September was Suicide Prevention Month. On Sunday, September 12th, The Kim Foundation joined over 1200 friends in the Out of the Darkness Walk to raise awareness about the warning signs of depression and suicide.
As the walk began participants released balloons on which messages had been written to loved ones lost by suicide. The balloons were varied in color, blue representing son, green for brother, yellow for grandchild, orange for friend, etc. As the rainbow of balloons lifted, some families had intertwined their balloons. Through our tears we were able to see just how complete a loss by suicide is to a family.
Signs displayed pictures and names of loved ones lost by suicide at the start of the walk. Many of the pictures were of young people. In Nebraska suicide is the second leading cause of death for people ages eight to 24. Nationally suicide is the third leading cause of death for this age group.
The Kim Foundation’s Not Alone radio program dedicated two radio broadcasts to the topic of suicide during the month of September. Following each of the programs we heard from listeners who told us that the program helped them realize that depression was affecting them and that they decided to ask for help. We recognize that with suicide most people don’t want to end life, they only want relief from the overwhelming emotional pain.