By Alicia Doyle

The Writer
Specializing in Good News
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Camarillo walk to benefit suicide prevention

Suicide is a serious public health problem that takes an enormous toll on families, friends and communities, according to Veronica Scarpelli of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

“Over 38,000 Americans took their lives in 2010, the most recent year for which we have data,” said Scarpelli, area director of the Los Angeles region chapter, which serves Ventura County.

The most recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that suicide accounts for 12 deaths for every 100,000 people nationwide, making it the country’s 10th leading cause of death.

“Unlike many other leading causes of death, suicide continues to claim more lives each year,” Scarpelli said.

Hoping to raise awareness, an Out of The Darkness Community Walk to benefit the foundation will take place Sept. 21 at Constitution Park in Camarillo.

Walks are a major fundraising source to aid the foundation’s programs, Scarpelli said.

“So many people are affected by suicide loss, and it’s very important to connect with others who have had similar experiences. ... This walk is a way for people to understand what we do and how it can help them or someone they know,” she said.

Angela Giacobbe, of Westlake Village, will walk with Team Bobby Giacobbe in memory of her brother, who committed suicide in 2011 at age 40.

“Bobby left behind two children, a family that loved him dearly and hundreds of friends,” said Giacobbe, 46.

She hopes to raise at least $3,000.

“Suicide is a very taboo topic, and what make this event so special is it helps to get the word out there that suicide is real and it affects millions of people each year,” Giacobbe said.

People are often confused in thinking that one event will cause a suicide, Scarpelli said.

“Most people who die from suicide have underlying situations or diagnoses that may lead to suicidal tendencies,” she said.

A lot of people blame each other or the person who died from suicide, but no one should be blamed, Scarpelli said.

“Mental health nonwellness is something that can’t always be seen by those who don’t know enough about it,” she said. “Even some physicians cannot predict someone who is going to take their life.”

Giacobbe hopes to keep her brother’s memory alive while raising awareness that depression is real.

“My brother was a happy person who loved his family and friends and was going through a terrible time ... and he gave up hope — and in one split second he gave up,” she said. “I want people to know that they don’t need to give up. Make a call. Things will get better.”

If you go

What: Out of the Darkness Community Walk

When: 9 a.m. Sept. 21. Check-in starts at 7:45 a.m.

Where: Constitution Park, 1287 Paseo Camarillo in Camarillo


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