Walk set for Saturday

Published 9:55 am Wednesday, November 7, 2018

People whose lives have been forever changed as a result of loved ones lost to suicide are taking to the streets Saturday to advocate for acceptance and ending stigma related to suicidal thoughts and mental illness. They are asking the community to join them.

Anne Waters, Dianne Tuck and Bridgette Malsbury are organizing this year’s Warr;or Walk, which is set to begin Saturday, 4 p.m. at the Charlotte County Administration Building, 250 Legrande Ave.

Malsbury said the walk, which is in its third year, seeks to make more real the widespread impact that suicide has on individuals and communities.

“Our community needed more information, more compassion, more knowledge, less judgment, and a dose of reality that suicide happens everywhere, even in rural Charlotte (County),” Malsbury said. “My hope is that it open minds and hearts to the hurt that suicide brings in the aftermath is real and no family is exempt as well as more understanding that prevention can be done with an outreach to those struggling with mental health issues.”

Malsbury said the semicolon in the event’s name is meant to be a symbol reminding people that their stories are not over, “whether its being carried on by those left in the aftermath of a loved one lost by suicide or someone who has been struggling with suicidal ideation or suicide attempts that they are still here to carry on their own story.”

Malsbury said participants will gather for a candlelight vigil after the walk.

Waters, who lost her mother to suicide, said the goal of the walk is to bring awareness to mental health and hope to stop the stigma. Waters said she has a semicolon tattooed to her arm.

“Initially when my Mom died I didn’t know anyone else that had experienced it,” Waters said. “I now know a list that seems never ending … We invite the families we know have been crushed by the loss to have a small moment in time (where) there is no judgement just love.”