Henrico mom fights for change after losing son to suicide - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Henrico mom fights for change after losing son, mother, and grandmother to suicide

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HENRICO, VA (WWBT) -

Robin Williams' battle with severe depression and substance abuse is launching a national conversation.

Here in Virginia, suicide is the 11th leading cause of death. On average, one person dies by suicide every 9 hours in the state according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

"I think when you lose your child nothing can be more devastating," said Shirley Ramsey. "And the anger will just tear you apart."

Shirley lost her 16-year-old son, Jackson, to suicide. Her grandmother and mother also died from suicide.

"I just decided I had to do something," said Shirley. "Depression is not a sign of weakness. Finding help for depression is a sign of strength because it's a medical condition."

She has taken that message to Capitol Hill and now organizes the Out of the Darkness Community Walk to help change the way we talk about suicide.

"The word commit," said Shirley. "Every Time I hear that word I'm like please say die by suicide. Don't say commit, because it really does add to the stigma. This doesn't have to happen. It's not necessary to take one's life."

The Richmond Out of the Darkness Community Walk is Saturday, September 13th at Deep Run Park in Henrico County. Check-in starts at 8AM.

There will be an American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Chapter formation meeting at Bon Air Baptist Church @ The Village this Thursday night. The meeting starts at 7PM. 

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