VIRGINIA BEACH -- The suicide of comic/actor Robin Williams on August 11 has experts talking about the need to de-stigmatize talking about mental health issues.
That's the focus of Out of the Darkness Community Walk, scheduled for September 6 at Mt. Trashmore Park.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Hampton Roads Survivors Bereavement Support Group are putting on this 9th annual event to "bring depression and suicide out of the darkness and into the light."
Organizers say in Virginia, one out of every four individuals age 18 or older who dies by suicide is a veteran
Across the country, the latest statistics showed an all-time high with 36,909 suicides, making suicide the 10th overall leading cause of death in the U.S.
Other startling statistics:
•Every 17 minutes, a person takes their own life.
•Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death of 15-24 year olds.
•Survivors of suicide are five times more at risk for suicide themselves.
•Approximately 18.8 million people suffer from depression. There are over 900,000 suicide attempts each year.
•Over 90 percent of all people who die by suicide have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder at the time of their death; thirty-three percent of suicides have a substance abuse component.
•The number one cause of suicide is untreated depression. Depression is a disease, a disease that is treatable.