Walk raises awareness

Published 9:54 am Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The second annual Warrior Walk — an event meant to raise awareness about suicide and mental health issues — drew a large crowd of people in Charlotte Court House on Saturday.

The event began with registration behind the County Administration Building on LeGrande Avenue.

The event, which included a 5K walk/run, literature on mental health awareness and photos of loved ones lost, was organized by those who’ve experienced losses of loved ones from suicide.

“We’re just here, family, friends, community (and) neighbors — we just want to raise awareness to stop the stigma of suicide and mental illness,” said Bridgette Malsbury. “We want people to know that there is help, there’s prevention, there’s lots of different access and there’s people that are willing to help and we just want people to know that it can happen to anybody and it can definitely rock your world, rock your life.”

Malsbury said those affected “could definitely make a comeback and you can make a difference.”

She said nine years ago, her sister took her own life. “She was my baby sister, so I was always told that time would heal things, but, to me, it’s what I do with that time. So, in this time I have decided with some friends that we were going to make something of our time and we were going to try to let people know that there is help and there’s hope.”

“Ann (Waters) and I kind of wanted to do something, so we started out saying we wanted to do the walk and we talked to Dianne (Tuck), because her church (Midway Baptist Church in Phenix) does a program (called) Celebrate Recovery.”

“And Ann and I went to one of those Celebrate Recovery gatherings and it was for suicide prevention/awareness,” Malsbury said.

Tuck’s daughter took her life four years ago.

“It’s all very personal for us three,” Malsbury said regarding she, Waters and Tuck. “A lot of these people here are family of ours, friends of ours, neighbors of ours, and they just know that it’s important to us and they want to make a difference too.”

Tuck said she wanted people to know “there’s hope and that there are people there who are willing to help with the struggle.”

According to organizers, Food Lion in Chase City donated 10 cases of water, while Gatorade was donated by an anonymous donor. Prizes were donated by Hite’s Clothing Store in Clarksville.

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S., and each year, more than 44,000 Americans die by suicide.

“On average, there are 121 suicides per day,” according to the website.