It was a beautiful fall day on Sunday, one where the sky is perfectly blue and the clouds are fluffy and light. The air was cool, but the sun warmed things up quickly. It was the perfect weather to connect with survivors, friends and supporters and walk to raise awareness.
As we have for the past several years (see last year's post), we walked in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's (AFSP) Out of the Darkness walk. The point of the walk is to unite those who are survivors (people who have survived the loss of family members/friends to suicide), as well as other community members, and walk to raise awareness of mental illness and suicide. I've mentioned in the past the stigmas associated with suicide and how so often people feel that they can't talk about it. We've got it all wrong; we must talk about it to everyone- to teens, middle aged adults, veterans ... everyone. The more we talk, the more help we can provide.
"...studies have consistently found that the overwhelming majority of people who die by suicide—90% or more—had a mental disorder at the time of their deaths. Often, however, these disorders had not been recognized, diagnosed, or adequately treated " (AFSP website). Many of these deaths could have been prevented, let's learn the warning signs & be more aware of how we can help ourselves and those around us.
If you want to learn more about this organization or how to find a walk near you, click here.
If you need support for overwhelming feelings of doubt and depression, there is hope & help. Depression is not a character flaw or weakness, it is a disease. Click here for resources on where to get help.