Hundreds gather in Akron to walk for suicide awareness

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AKRON, Ohio – Hundreds of people gathered at the University of Akron for the 3rd Annual Out of the Darkness Campus Walk.

"We’re raising money for suicide awareness, advocacy and also support for people who have lost someone or someone who struggles,” explained organizer Maria Ruane.

Before the walk, a special ceremony was held honoring those affected by suicide. Everyone was also given different color beads to wear.

"I wear orange because I lost a sibling to suicide. So they wear the beads as an identification to other people of who they're walking for,” said Ruane.

Jane Lewins said awareness is extremely important right now, especially since suicide rates are on the rise.

"The CDC came out last week and said there has been a 25% increase in the rates of suicide from 1999 to 2014 and so what we're trying to do -- our goal is to reduce the suicide rate by 20% by 2025,” said Lewins.

She believes they can do that by funding more suicide prevention programs, investing in mental health professionals and updating state laws.

To learn more about suicide prevention, CLICK HERE.