American Foundation of Suicide Prevention

Out of the Darkness Walk

Today I’ll be volunteering for the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention’s Out of the Darkness Walk.  The walk services many purposes including but not limited to:  mental illness and suicide prevention awareness, honoring both survivors of suicide attempts as well as a show of support to families that have lost loved ones to suicide.

This is my 3rd year participating, I missed a year in 2017, but I’m back at it today and it’s really personal today because I recently attended the funeral of someone who committed suicide.  I knew this person personally so it really hits home this year.

What I want to say most about this is that it’s my belief that each one of us knows someone who suffers from some form of mental illness.  The really sad part about that is that we may not even know it.  It could be depression or some other form of mental illness.  We each know someone who has either committed suicide or has had thoughts of suicide.  It’s a subject that no one wants to talk about and yet, it is absolutely imperative that we do talk about.  If you ever suspect that someone may be suicidal, the AFSP encourages us to come right out and ask “Are you having thoughts of suicide?”  Don’t be embarrassed to ask and don’t think you’ll hurt their feelings.  They are already hurting and they need someone to ask so that they may be free to say “yes, I am.”  It could be the life you save.

Mental Illness

Depression is more than just feeling sad.  It’s such an overwhelmingly illness that causes people to believe that they want to end it all.  People with depression want to talk about it, but the stigma associated with depression prevents them from doing so.  They want to talk about it because they need to talk about it.  it. Moreover, they need people to listen without being dismissive of the gravity of the situation.  I recently heard this said about people who survived suicide attempts “it’s not that I don’t want to live, I just don’t want to live like this.”  I heard that on a tv drama and while, yes, it is television drama, that statement made so much sense to me and I believe that for that reason, that very statement, we can help prevent suicide.  We can help change the trajectory of people’s lives so that they do want to live and live life in a way that brings them peace, joy and happiness.

For those that have lost the fight to live, we honor them today at the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention Walk.  We come together with family and friends to lend emotional support to those that lost loved ones and give the biggest bear hug to those that have survived attempts at suicide.

You can help with your donation or your presence.  Take two minutes to do the following:

  1. Watch the 1 minute video and listen to people share the reasons why they take part in the walk
  2. Then take another minute to give and help in the effort to reduce suicides through the education.
  3. Save this link and either now when you have time or make time, take the opportunity to learn about suicide, its prevention and what you can do to help in other ways.  We need you.

AFSP Out of the Darkness Community Walk – 60 seconds from AFSP on Vimeo.

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