At Coors Field on Sept. 23, people walked around the stadium in support of suicide awareness. People attended the Out of Darkness Walk in honor of friends and family members who had taken their lives or in support of suicide awareness.
This walk is funded by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). AFSP focuses on fully achieving its mission by engaging in five core strategies. These strategies include: funding scientific research, offering education programs for professionals, educating the public about mood disorders and suicide prevention, promoting policies and legislation that impact suicide and prevention, and providing programs and resources for survivors of suicide loss and people at risk and involving them in the work of the foundation.
“The goal of this walk is to educate people about mental illnesses and suicide. We want to bring together people who have lost loved ones due to suicide and also people who may currently be struggling with depression and being suicidal. We hope that we can give these people hope and a place to feel valued,” said Mary Larson who has volunteered at the Denver Out of Darkness Walk since it began in 2015.
Many students and teachers from HR volunteered to help out at this walk. “It feels good, and it’s always nice to help other people out,” said Bas Wolf, ACE teacher. ACE had a stand that gave out cookies and coffee to walkers and offered information about the ACE program.
This was the third year that the Out of Darkness Walk came to Denver. “It was really nice to volunteer at the Out of Darkness Walk because you got to talk to people who were having a hard time being and that felt really good to help. It was also great because we got to walk around, listen to music, and talk to other people, and you could just feel the love in the environment,” said Oriel Voegele, junior.
According to Medical News Today, one million people commit suicide a year, which means one death occurs by suicide every 40 seconds. Depression is the leading cause of suicide; however other mental illnesses can also lead to suicide such as schizophrenia. If you or a loved one is depressed or has suicidal thoughts, you should reach out for help. Help can come from a friend, a trusted adult, a counselor, or even the suicide hotline which can be reached at 1-800-273-8255.
Paige Martin, Staff Reporter