Basin Residents Unite For Suicide Prevention Walk - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: |

Basin Residents Unite For Suicide Prevention Walk

By Alicia Neaves
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - Residents from all around the Basin put on their walking shoes to attend the 6th Annual "Out of the Darkness" suicide prevention walk in Odessa Sunday afternoon. Their goal was to break the stigma, letting people know it's ok to ask for help.

Many have lost loved ones to suicide. Others, complete strangers just lending a helping hand.

Just under 200 balloons were released into the West Texas skies in memory of those who fell victim to suicide.

"It is an extremely lonely grief and a lot of people don't understand it. If you haven't been there, you will never understand it," Amanda Beaman, Chairman of the Permian Basin Out of the Darkness Walk, said.

There are 11 suicide prevention walks in all of Texas. One of them is right here in the Basin.

"This is for Andrews, it's for Midland, for Odessa, McCamey, Big Spring, Monahans, Crane, Rankin. Anywhere in the area. That's why we're here. It's for the whole community," Beaman said.

Even those who did not have a personal connection to suicide offered their support to others who are still grieving.

"Knowing that you're grieving a certain way and finding out that there's other people out there grieving the same way, it's nice to know that you're not alone," Participant, Luz Lopez, said.

With suicide prevalent among teens, the Out of the Darkness Walk is partnering with local school districts to help prevent the next tragic loss, which is 100% preventable.

"We've had a lot of issues in the Permian Basin with bullying, especially leading the teenagers to feel like they don't have an out," Volunteer, Rhonda Beaman, said.

Most participants walked to honor their fallen relatives.

"We had these [t-shirts] made. We have the name on the back. "Team Adam," just walking for him trying to get awareness out," Participant, Victoria Garcia, said.

"We walk in honor of my sister who we lost in 2011. Actually, a year later, my husband lost his niece to suicide as well," Lopez said.

For more information on the Out of the Darkness walk, click here
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