According to the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention (AFSP), there are on average 121 suicides per day. This, according to the AFSP, makes suicide the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.

The AFSP’s goal is to decrease those numbers by 20 percent by 2025. One way they plan to do so is through awareness. This is accomplished through the Out of the Darkness walks.

These walks, according to the Out of the Darkness page on the AFSP website, “fund research, create educational programs, advocate for public policy, and support survivors of suicide loss.” The page went onto state that a quarter of a million people have participated in these walks, all raising awareness and bringing “hope to those affected by suicide.”

There are three kinds of walks — campus, community and overnight. This Sunday, there will be a community walk at Hamden’s Town Center Park.

Check in or registration will be at 10 a.m. The walk will begin at noon, and is expected to end around 2:30 p.m. Walkers are encouraged to come at 10, so they can have plenty of time to enjoy some of the pre-walk activities. According to the Hamden walk page on the AFSP site, Spuds Potato truck and the Sugar cupcake truck are expected to be there.

According to the page, there is expected to be over 1,000 walkers in this event. I will be one of those 1,000 walkers partaking in this event. I choose to do so for two reasons. The first is that mental health is a cause that has always been important to me. Secondly, it’s a great cause.

Suicide and mental health for that matter, are often things that many push under the bus. However, through research and advocacy, I think that helps give people the help that they so desperately need — and realize that suicide is not an option.

So, if you’re interested in joining me, you can register in two different ways. The first is you can register online, up until this Friday. However, if you miss the deadline, don’t worry you can still get involved, as you can register the day of the walk.

The pages states that the length of the walk will be 5k. It will take walkers through Dixwell Ave, leading them to a paved trail. The page went onto state there will be a marked halfway point that will direct walkers back to the park.

Overall, the event looks like a great way to bring awareness to an important and get excerise. What more could you want for a Sunday?!?



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