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Local Mental health advocates and survivors fight for suicide prevention through “Out of the Darkness Walk”

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.— Harry Bruell lights up when he talks about his late daughter Taya.

“She wanted to be a surgeon, but she also wanted to be a writer. She loved animals…” said Bruell who works as the CEO for Pathpoint.

Losing Taya to suicide when she was just 14 is the deepest pain Bruell and his family have had to work through.

His grief is hard to express, but these words capture his pain:

“New seed is faithful. It roots deepest in the places that are most empty. And we were empty,” said Bruell.

It’s an emptiness that far too many families have had to deal with.

Saturday’s “Out of the Darkness Walk” at Goleta Beach Park helps those who feel isolated in their grief see that they are not alone.

“When a person loses a loved one to death by suicide, the feelings of grief, the pain are palpable. And to be able to hear others share their stories gives people courage to share their own. And more than that, to make connections. And it's those connections that build our resiliency,” said Santa Barbara County Department of Behavioral Wellness Spokesperson Suzanne Grimmesey.

Suicide is a leading cause of death in America, according to the CDC.

The “Out of the Darkness Walk” supports the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s education, research, and survivor support programs.

“We stand up together and say we're going to try to do something about this because so many of us have lost someone and it is impacted our life and we don't want to lose anyone else and not lose another single person to suicide,” said Bruell.

Saturday’s walk will be held at Goleta Beach Park at 9 am and is free to join. 

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Mina Wahab

Arab-American producer & reporter with a mission to dig deep in interviews, share authentically, shed light on the issues that matter, and provoke deep thought.


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