DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Thousands of people will gather in Dayton to support those impacted by suicide on Sunday.
Over 20 years ago, Felecia Hamilton felt like she had nothing to live for. “I just got to that place where living just was not the answer. I had my letters written to my family. I had closed the locker and registered that sound as the last sound that I would hear that day,” she said.
The letters revealed a plan to end her life. “My pain was so great. It was so deep. It was nothing anyone of course knew about but more so it was nothing I felt like I could come out of,” she said.
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, black teen girls who are 17 years old have had a 6.6% increase in suicides, annually.
“We’ve not been able to communicate, in our communities, the traumas that we’ve been through because we are told ‘get over it,’ not ‘work through it,'” Hamilton said.
Unmasking the stigma to increase prevention is an issue that Carol Griesdorn is working to resolve.
“Along my own journey, after losing my brother 9 years ago to suicide you find that people don’t understand or are frightened to talk about suicide,” said Griesdorn, chair of the Miami Valley “Out of Darkness” walk.
After her attempt, Hamilton created the ‘I Love You’ movement. “You never know what somebody else is going through so with ‘I Love You’ movement it’s just allowing love to be shared from one person to the next and also reigniting purpose in people,” she said.
For those struggling or grieving a loss by suicide the annual “Out of the Darkness” walk will be Sunday at Welcome Stadium from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. To register, visit their website.