The annual Out of the Darkness Columbia Missouri Walk, hosted by the Missouri Chapter of American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, was held Sunday at Stephens Lake Park.
Volunteers from Columbia and across Mid-Missouri are joining the thousands of people who are gathering, in person and virtually, in towns across the United States to draw attention to the fight for suicide prevention.
The walk supported the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s education and support programs and its goal to reduce the annual U.S. rate of suicide to 20% by the year 2025.
“Suicide touches one in five American families. We hope that by connecting with one another online, we will draw attention to this issue and keep other families from experiencing a suicide loss. Our ultimate goalis to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide,” said Beth Hendren, chair of the Out of the Darkness Walk Columbia and board member of the Missouri Chapter AFSP.
“These events 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.”
Anyone struggling is encouraged to call the National Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255.