LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) – Despite the rain, about 250 people showed up for the Out of the Darkness Walk, an event to bring awareness to suicide.
Suicide takes the lives of 30,000 Americans every year and it's one of the leading causes of death for teenagers and young adults.
Held at the Civic Center, participants registered and walked three miles on Lake Shore Drive. When they returned, walkers gathered to hear the names read of the victims of suicide in Southwest Louisiana.
Similar events have been held in other parts of Louisiana, including Lafayette. However, this was SWLA's first suicide awareness walk.
Ernest Fruge, with the Suicide Prevention and Intervention Coalition for the Youth, says Southwest Louisiana follows the national trend with respect to the number of suicides each year. Fruge says an ugly trend in SWLA is the number of suicide symptoms, such as depression, is up. Fruge attributes much of this to last year's hurricanes, when many families were uprooted from their homes and forced to start all over again.
The event ended with yellow balloons, each representing a victim of suicide, being released into the sky.
To find out more about suicide prevention, visit the Spicy Coalition website.