Thousands walk around National Mall to stop suicide

Thousands walked on the Mall to raise awareness for suicide prevention.

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- ”We lost a good friend a couple weeks ago to suicide,” Darren Phillips said. Tomas took his own life. He was 42-years-old.

He owned his own company and loved to play hockey.

“We tried to talk to him and get involved, but it wasn't enough,” Phillips said.

In his memory, team Tomas joined thousands of others walking around the National Mall Saturday to stop suicide.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.

Rachel Flaherty’s best friend, Katie, committed suicide five months ago. She was 21.

“People need to speak up when something is wrong. You need to be there for people who need help. I think everyone is always fighting their own private battles, despite the appearance they put forward, so I think it's important to always be kind to other people,” Flaherty said.

“Robby passed away a few years back. We have 25 friends and family who came out today for this suicide walk. We are proud to be part of it because it's a great cause and we want to bring suicide out to light now and raise awareness,” Keith Reid said.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention set a goal to reduce the annual suicide rate in the United States by 20 percent by 2025.


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