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      Providing a path of hope

      Every year one million lives are lost to suicide.

      On Saturday, many joined together in remembrance of their loved ones who became part of that statistic in hopes of saving others from reaching the same fate.

      Pat Cork, a Pembine Resident, said he tried to take his "own life" back in 1987.

      "I was going through a divorce," explained Cork. "I'm happy it didn't happen I wouldn't be here today."

      Cork attended the Out of Darkness walk in Iron Mountainâ??s City Park on Saturday to spread a lesson heâ??s glad he learned.

      "There's light at the end of the tunnel," stated Cork. "

      While some like Pat survive, suicide still takes more lives than homicides every year. And for family members forced to carry on without their loved ones their lives are never same.

      "I lost my dad eight years ago this November," said Brittany Johnson, a Kingsford Resident. "He was everything to meâ?| he was the best father anyone could ever ask for."

      The Out of Darkness walks aim to help those heading down a dark, rabbit hole, see that a way out exists, and show family and friends the warning signs before it becomes too late.

      "The majority of deaths by suicide are the result of struggling with a clinical depression, a diagnosable mental illness," said Carroll Ann Swanson, a Suicide Survivor Support Group Facilitator.

      Jeff Olson, a father who lost his 19-year-old son to suicide, said it happens to people who donâ??t seek treatment or go undertreated.

      "The reason they do it is because of the stigma of mental illness," said Olson.

      Another stigma these suicide prevention supporters are pushing for is the term committing suicide. They say nobody commits to any diseases including mental illness.

      "We're trying to provide a path of hope for people," stated Olson. "Itâ??s one of the most treatable diseases but people don't come forward with it."

      For those in need of help the following hotlines are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week:

      1-800-SUICIDE ã?? 1-800-273-TALK 1-800-784-2433 ã?? 1-800-273-8255ã??