Walkers take to the streets next month to fight suicide

Residents from throughout Oakland and Macomb counties are expected to participate in the Oakland/Rochester/Macomb Out of the Darkness Community Walk on Saturday Oct. 14 at Stoney Creek Metropark’s Eastwood Beach in Shelby Township.

The event, scheduled to begin at 9 a.m., is sponsored by the Metro Detroit/Ann Arbor Chapter of The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

The walk supports the foundation’s local and national education and advocacy programs and its goal to reduce the annual rate of suicide 20 percent by 2025.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.

“We walk to raise awareness about this important health issue,” said Steve Windom, Michigan area director. “Suicide touches one in five American families. We hope that by walking we save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide.”

The event  is one of more than 375 Out of the Darkness Community Walks being held nationwide this year.

The walks are expected to unite more than 250,000 walkers and raise millions for suicide prevention efforts.

With this walk last year, the Metro Detroit/Ann Arbor Chapter raised $295,49.

Scheduled speakers at the walk will include Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel and Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard.

“These walks are about turning hope into action,” said AFSP CEO Robert Gebbia. “Suicide is a serious problem, but it’s a problem we can solve. The research has shown us how to fight suicide, and if we keep up the fight the science is only going to get better, our culture will get smarter about mental health, and we’ll be able to save more people from dying from depression and other mental health conditions.”

Local sponsors for the Oakland/Rochester/Macomb Out of the Darkness Community Walk include Home Depot, Emagine Theaters, United Shore Professional Baseball League, Fabrizio & Brook PC, Brighton Labs, Yates Cider Mill, and New Oakland Family Centers.

Check-in is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. with the walk set to get underway at 11 a.m. and winding up at about 1 p.m.

Additional information is available either by calling 586.419.0384 or emailing oaklandmacombootd@gmail.com.

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