For more information about the 5K walk Saturday or to register in advance, go online at www.outofthedarkness.org or call Karen Delany at (770) 355-1024.
Karen Delany hopes an event this weekend will shed light on an issue that has touched her life.
The county’s first Out of the Darkness Walk to Prevent Suicide fundraiser is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Coal Mountain Park. Registration begins at 9 a.m.
Delany said she became active with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention after tragedy struck her own life.
“The reason I do it is because I lost my son Kyle in 2006,” Delany said. “He was 16 ... now my goal is to start a Survivors of Suicide group and have more resources in our area for people of Forsyth County and north Georgia.”
Delany, a crime analyst for the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, said there have been 18 deaths by suicide in the county so far this year and there were 20 in 2009.
She said the state averages about 900 suicide deaths annually.
Delany said seven of the people in Forsyth County who died by suicide this year were 60 or older. She said the youngest person was 27 and the oldest 77.
Statistics on the foundation’s Web site show that more than 34,000 people nationwide die of suicide each year and that every 15 minutes someone takes his or her own life.
Suicide is the fifth leading cause of death among children ages 5 to 14 and the third leading cause of death among those 15 to 24, foundation figures show.
Delany said 90 percent of those who die by suicide have a diagnosable and treatable mental illness such as depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.