Out of the darkness walk

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JOPLIN, Mo. — Hundreds spent Saturday afternoon walking to raise awareness about suicide.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention held its 4th annual Joplin Out of the Darkness Walk in Landreth Park Saturday afternoon.

There are more than 47,000 suicide deaths in the United States every year.

AFSP says suicide is the ninth leading cause of death in Missouri.

The foundation held a bead ceremony before the walk.

Participants could choose one of nine colors representing losing someone to suicide or struggling with mental health issues.

“Suicide is a public health issue. It’s everyone’s business and together we can fight suicide,” said Jacque Christmas, Joplin Out of the Darkness Walk Committee Chair.

“I would want them to know that there’s hope. Reach out to a family friend, a family member, a hospital. Call the 800-273-talk line or text 741-741,” said Phyllis Blackwelder, AFSP Missouri Area Director.

The Joplin chapter raised more than $8,000 to fund research, education and advocacy.

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