Volunteers walk to fight suicide

Theresa Deckert
Special to Devils Lake Daily Journal

Movement of a quarter of a million people joined by local participants in Devils Lake

Devils Lake, ND − 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 ND Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention will be held at 10:00 AM, Saturday, September 18, 2021 at Ruger Park with registration beginning at 9:15 AM. 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 percent 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 and loss survivor.

“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 and loss survivor.

The 4th annual 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. Last year this local walk raised over $13,000 and had 125 participants.

“We appreciate all of our local sponsors who have donated so generously to support this cause as well as our volunteers and those who walk to raise awareness”, said Deckert. “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 Devils Lake Psychiatric Services, Radio Works, Proz End of the Line/Lakeside, Farmer’s Union Oil, LaMotte’s Paint and Glass, Gate City Bank, Sanford Health, Gleason Construction, American Bank Center, Xtreme Signs & Graphix, Devils Lake Doughnuts, North Dakota Telephone Company, North Star Credit Union/Rugby, Slumberland Furniture, Lake Region Grain – CHS, Reslock Printing, Ramsey Bank, Leading Edge Equipment, Devils Lake Post VFW, Deckert Construction, Devils Lake Kiwanis, Schwan Wholesale, Lake Region State College, Jerome Wholesale, Lake Region Corporation and Lifewise Associates.

To pre-register online for the walk go to afsp.org/devilslake.