Suicide prevention walk outstanding

Published 5:23 pm Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Friends, neighbors and more joined together to help prevent suicide at the fifth annual Out of the Darkness Walk on Oct. 23 at Bennett’s Creek Park.

While walking, these folks helped raise more than $24,000 to help support the work of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, which provides help to people who are having thoughts about harming themselves; supports those who have survived suicide attempts or lost someone who took their own life; advocates for suicide prevention; provides research grants; advocates for public policy changes that could improve mental health; and more.

This event does all that and also shows people they are not alone, and that, as slogan T-shirts at the event said, “it’s OK not to be OK.”

During the event, the words passion, community, harmony, well-being and impact were highlighted. These words are the core values of AFSP and part of its commitment to reduce the nation’s annual rate of suicide by 20% by 2025. The AFSP notes that we all should be fueled by a desire to save lives, create a diverse, stronger community against suicide, all play a role in preventing suicide, strive to achieve bold goals and practice self-care.

In 2019, 47,511 Americans died by suicide, and there were an estimated 1.38 million suicide attempts. It is widely accepted that these deaths could have been prevented with proper help for the individuals who were suffering.

If you are in need of help, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 by calling 1-800-273-8255. You can learn more about the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention at afsp.org.