ODESSA, Texas (KMID/KPEJ)- The Permian Basin Out of Darkness Walk is taking place in November and organizers say it’s all in an effort to raise awareness for suicide prevention. The walk is a way for those who have lost a loved one to suicide and those who struggle with mental health, as well as those who just want to show support, to come together. 

“To all come together and support one another,” said PBOODW Chair, Kimberly Crisp. “Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the United States and the 12th leading cause of death in Texas. So, we want to make sure that people have a place to talk and get help when they need it. These local events also help connect people with local resources.”

This will be the 10th walk in the Basin, and Crisp said participation grows every year, which is so important to help raise awareness.

“Suicide impacts a lot of people and the reality of it is that it’s still fairly stigmatized. People feel uncomfortable even saying the word suicide. We want to make sure that by talking about it and having these events, we’re getting people more comfortable with the (word) and that allows not only people who are struggling with their mental health but also those who have lost loved ones to suicide to be able to come forward and talk about it. Talk saves lives. The more we make these topics comfortable in conversation, the more people are going to get help when they need it,” Crisp said. 

The common goal of all of these events is prevention and Crisp said it’s a community effort. 

If you’d like to participate in the walk, which will begin at 10:00 a.m. on November 4, and will be held at Memorial Gardens off 42nd Street, you can register online here.

If you or someone you know is stuggling with thoughts of suicide or experiencing a mental health crisis. Call 988 for help; the toll-free hotline will connect you with someone who can help 24/7 in both English and Spanish.