CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) — The loss of a loved one to suicide is a nightmare no one wants to live through. For Tricia Carbaugh, the nightmare came true seven years ago.
“We lost my nephew to suicide on February 1, 2014, at the age of 27. As you hear after so many suicide deaths, Christopher was such a special person. He seemed to be happy and loving life. Getting the call the morning of his death shook me to the core,” Carbaugh said.
Carbaugh went out to an event in Harrisburg and felt called to pursue the cause further. “A group of friends and family attended the Harrisburg Out of the Darkness Walk in the fall of 2014 in Christopher’s memory and felt inspired to start a walk in our home community.”
So Carbaugh, along with some help from her family started the Carlisle Out of the Darkness Walk in 2015 with her as the Chair. The event and the support it brings is simple in execution to solving a complex problem. “The walk raises money each year for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). They have been in existence since 1987 and are the largest privately funded research group in the area of suicide and mental health. They provide those affected by suicide in all 50 states with research, education, and advocacy,” Carbaugh said.
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While the AFSP provides tremendous support to help those heal, there is a great power that comes from gathering neighbors to support the cause. “The walks are a way to bring that hope to people in our community. This is a ‘family’ that no one wants to belong to; but for those of us in it, it’s very healing to have the love and support of others dealing with the same tragedies,” Carbaugh said.
The walk is being held at the Carlisle Fairgrounds on Saturday, September 18. Registration begins at 2 p.m. with a ceremony at 4 p.m. with the walk following right after. If you cannot make it to the walk, you can donate through the link here. The organization is also looking for volunteers. If you are interested you can reach out to email@example.com for more information or reach out to your local AFSP organization.