Walkers take to the streets to fight suicide

Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, yet suicide is preventable. Residents from throughout Oakland and Macomb Counties are expected to participate in the annual Oakland/Rochester/Macomb Out of the Darkness Community Walk hosted by the Metro Detroit/Ann Arbor Chapter at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14, at Stony Creek Metropark – Eastwood Beach. This fundraising walk supports the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s local and national education and advocacy programs and its bold goal to reduce the annual rate of suicide 20 percent by 2025.

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

The Oakland/Rochester/Macomb Out of the Darkness Walk 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 $295,493.00 and walked with 4,000 suicide fighters.

Speakers at the Oakland/Rochester/Macomb Out of the Darkness 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.

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