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Wacoans bring New York's suicide prevention walk to Central Texas

Posted at 6:12 AM, Jun 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-12 08:12:39-04

WACO, TX — Jennifer Warnick lost her mom 9 years ago, she felt alone and unsure how to handle the passing.

"I had lost all hope trying to find myself after losing her," Warnick said.

It wasn't until she found a community walk in Austin raising awareness for suicide prevention and mental health.

That's when she learned about the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

They hold a big overnight walk every year for the cause but this year plans changed and it turned virtual.

Now Warnick and her friends are bringing the Overnight to Waco.

"Now being able to do the Overnight in the Waco area, a watered-down version, helps me in my healing process and makes me feel good knowing that I'm helping others," Warnick said.

These walks help others like Brittany Carricales, who lost her brother to suicide in 2011.

"He was something else, he was definitely a character that people knew but you didn't want to get on his bad side," Carricales said.

Not only is it important to share your story with others, but be there for someone when they need it.

Debbie Tahiri is walking for the first time this year but she's been working as a Victim Advocate for many years and in at least three police departments in Central Texas.

"It's a calling, I believe it is a calling and I'm very passionate about that," Tahiri says.

During the Overnight Tahiri is walking for the doctors and nurses that work hard each day to keep us all healthy and alive when we need them the most.

The three are walking for more than themselves and loved ones this year.

Warnick posted on Facebook asking for names who suffered from mental health or suicide.

Warnick wrote those names on the back of rocks and during the Overnight walk, she'll be hiding them around Waco.

"I thought what better way to honor loved ones by writing names on the back of the rocks and hiding them along the 16 to 18 miles," Warnick said.

The rocks may not be going to New York anymore but they'll be hiding them during the Overnight in Waco. Hoping that whoever finds the message is the one who needs it that day.

Walking since 2012, Warnick is happy to be there for everyone needing a shoulder to lean on.

"It's given me hope, healing. It's showed me it's okay to not be okay," Warnick said.

The Overnight in Waco is taking place on June 20th.

Registration is free and you can sign uphere.

If you would like to join Warnick and their friends on their team during the Overnight, their team name is "Look to the L;ght."

There will be another walk on October 3rd and that's the Out of the Darkness Waco Community Walk and registration is free for that as well.

You can register for the walk on the 3rdhere.