September is national suicide prevention month and people are preparing for the annual Out of the Darkness walk happening this weekend. The walk will be on Saturday at the Riverwalk and is open to anyone looking for resources about mental health and suicide awareness.
Heather Borsuk is one of the organizers and said she expects hundreds of people to show up.
“I will run a walk, I will fight until I die to help save lives. It’s the way I’ve been able to heal," said Borsuk.
Borsuk said it's taken her several years to heal after losing her younger sister, Christie, to suicide in 2017. She hopes by sharing Christie's story, other people might reach out for help.
“The reason I talk about it and the reason I am so vocal is, because I feel like if my sister's brain could break and she could take her life then anybody’s brain could break and anyone could die by suicide," said Borsuk.
Mental Health Association of Oklahoma said suicide rates are the highest they have been in 15 years. Healthy Minds is a policy initiative that started in 2019 and collects data on mental health across the state. They said suicide rates in Oklahoma are up 8%-10% and are as high as 27% in rural areas.
Borsuk said help is always available.
“That is why we do this. Every single one of us has been affected by suicide or mental health issues in some way. And we want you to know that you are not alone and that there is always, always, hope and help available," said Borsuk.
She said 30 different organizations will be at Saturday's walk with all kinds of resources.
“If we can get someone out of that particular moment of desperation and get them help. Then we can help save a life," said Borsuk.
Find More Information on how to get involved HERE
It is our policy to provide resources for anybody considering self-harm when reporting about a situation involving suicide or a suicide attempt.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a hotline for individuals in crisis or for those looking to help someone else. To speak with a certified listener, call 1-800-273-8255.
The Veterans Crisis Line and Military Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 (Press 1) connect veterans and service members in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text.
Crisis Text Line is a texting service for emotional crisis support. To speak with a trained listener, text HELLO to 741741. It is free, available 24/7, and confidential.