TRMC hosting Out of the Darkness Walk

Published 3:00 am Saturday, July 25, 2015

“What can we do to impact our community?”

This is the question that the team at Troy Regional Medical Center asked when discussing their next community activity.

As a result TRMC, in partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, is hosting the first annual Troy Community Out of the Darkness Walk to raise awareness and prevention for suicide. The walk will be 3 to 5 p .m. Sept. 13 at the Troy University track. Registration begins at 2 p.m.

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“The statistics speak for themselves,” said Amy Minor, chief nursing officer at TRMC and walk chairperson. “Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in America and the third cause of death for those ages 15 to 24. That, to me, was staggering.”

The TRMC team lost an employee and an employee’s daughter to suicide, so Minor said those statistics really “touched home” for them.

Minor said mental sickness is often hushed instead of addressed, making it that much more important to raise prevention and awareness for suicide.

“We want to let people know it’s okay to talk about,” Minor said. “This has been an eye-opener to the prevalence of it. It’s out there, and we so often do not talk about it. We want people to know the warning signs and to get people some help.”

Minor said the walk is set up similarly to the annual Relay for Life event, with the opportunity to set up teams, or walk individually, and raise funds to meet the $5,000 goal. Half of the funds raised will stay in Alabama, while the other half will go to the national level.

“’Troy Regional Medical Center will provide exceptional care in a compassionate environment that attends to the emotional, physical and spiritual needs of our communities’ is our mission statement,” said Teresa Grimes, TRMC chief executive officer. “I feel the Out of Darkness Walk is the perfect event that encompasses each area of our mission. We are proud to be coordinating this event with the help of Troy University and many other businesses and individuals in our community. Our goal is to raise awareness and hopefully provide resources to assist people who are struggling. We need people to know there are other options and support is available in their lowest times. We want to make a difference.”

The national funds will pay for resources such as the suicide prevention hotline and lobbying efforts for mental illness and research. The state funds can be used locally, for local projects to benefit the cause, or they will stay in the state fund to go toward school resources and information for pamphlets and other awareness tools.

The walk not only raises awareness, prevention and funds, it will provide a way for families to remember ones they have lost to suicide.

“There is an opportunity for remembrance and memorial,” Minor said. “There will be a memorial board for pictures of those who have died by suicide. We want to provided support and healing for those who have lost loved ones.”

Minor said participants will be able to wear “honor beads” to represent who they are remembering. The beads are color-coded for family members, sources, children, etc.

At the conclusion of the walk, butterflies will be released to symbolize hope and life.

Organizations willing to sponsor the event have until July 31 to become a sponsor. Anyone wanting to sponsor the event should contact Minor at 670-5530 or

And, anyone considering suicide is urged to contact the TRMC emergency room or the national suicide hotline at 1-800-273-TALK, Minor said. “We feel like we can save lives. This is ultimately our goal – save the lives of our citizens.”