Volunteers walk to fight suicide

Staff Writer
Devils Lake Journal
Walkers of all ages and walks of life joined together Saturday morning, Sept. 15, 2018, for the “Out of Darkness” walk to end suicide through the streets of Devils Lake’s historic downtown. This year’s walk will take place Saturday, Sept. 14.

Movement of a quarter of a million people joined by local participants.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, yet suicide can be prevented.

Volunteers from the Lake Region are joining the quarter of a million people who are walking in towns across the United States to draw attention to the fight for suicide prevention.

The annual Lake Region "Out of the Darkness" Community Walk, hosted by the Lake Region Suicide Prevention Coalition and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention – ND Chapter will be held at 9 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 14 at Ruger Park. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. or you can pre-register at afsp.org/devilslake.

This walk supports the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s education and support programs and its bold goal to reduce the annual U.S. rate of suicide 20% by the year 2025.

“Suicide touches one in five American families. We hope that by walking we will draw attention to this issue and keep other families from experiencing a suicide loss. Our ultimate goal is to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide,” said Theresa Deckert, Walk Co-Chair.

The Lake Region Out of the Darkness Community Walk is one of more than 550 Out of the Darkness Overnight, Community and Campus Walks being held nationwide this year. The walks are expected to unite more than 300,000 walkers and raise millions for suicide prevention efforts. Last year, these walks raised over $21 million for suicide prevention. In 2018, this local walk raised over $5000 and had 137 participants. “These walks are about turning hope into action,” said AFSP CEO Robert Gebbia.

“The research has shown us how to fight suicide, and if we keep up the fight, the science is only going to get better and our culture will get smarter about mental health. With the efforts of our courageous volunteers, and a real investment from our nation’s leaders, we hope to significantly reduce the suicide rate in the United States.”

Local sponsors for the Lake Region Out of the Darkness Walk include American Bank Center, Bergstom Motors, Bremer Bank, Deckert Construction, Devils Lake Doughnuts, Famer’s Union Oil of Devils Lake, Gate City Bank, High Plains Equipment, Jerome WholeSale, Lakeside Nutrition, LaMotte’s, Lifewise Associates, Nelson Construction, North Dakota Telephone Company, Proz End of the Line, Proz Lakeside, Radio Works, RDO Equipment, Reslock Printing, Rural Psychiatry and Associates, Schwan’s Wholesale, XTreme Signs and Graphics. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. AFSP creates a culture that’s smart about mental health through education and community programs, develops suicide prevention through research and advocacy, and provides support for those affected by suicide. Led by CEO Robert Gebbia and headquartered in New York, and with a public policy office in Washington, D.C., AFSP has local chapters in all 50 states with programs and events nationwide.

Learn more about AFSP in its latest Annual Report, and join the conversation on suicide prevention by following AFSP on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.