OXFORD – Danielle Marshman Williamson knows firsthand what it’s like to lose a loved one by their own hand. Her father Dan Marshman, a respected community and agricultural leader, committed suicide ten years ago. As a part of her own healing in the wake of his death, she has become dedicated to supporting the efforts of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, which strives to prevent suicide through education and awareness about depression and other mood disorders.
“There really is a lack of education about depression and suicide in the United States,” said Williamson, who explained that someone takes their own life every 16 minutes in the U.S. and suicide is now the third leading cause of death for teens and young adults. Every life saved is a family who never has to go through the tragic loss she has endured.
Last year, Williamson went to great lengths for the cause – literally. She was one of some 3,000 people to participate in AFSP’s Out of the Darkness Overnight, an 18-mile dusk ‘til dawn walk in Boston to raise money for suicide prevention and awareness. She herself raised approximately $8,000 for the cause.