Walk for suicide prevention

Published 11:57 am Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Dear Editor,

On Sunday, Nov. 3, the eighth Birmingham Out of the Darkness Community Walk will take place at Heardmont Park at 54252 Cahaba Valley Road.

This fundraising event is to benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. There are more than 300 Out of the Darkness walks taking place throughout the United States this fall. Last year, these walks raised almost $8 million for local and national suicide prevention programs. 
The people of the Birmingham area have always been known as generous and friendly people, and this walk is evidence of their generous spirit. Last year the Birmingham walk ranked sixth in the nation with 1,700 walkers and raised almost $160,000.

People walk to honor a loved one, to support the cause and for suicide awareness. Lining the pathway of the Birmingham walk are over 640 shoes. These shoes are a sad reminder of the number of lives lost to suicide in one year in the state of Alabama.

In the United States, a person dies by suicide every 13.7 minutes and it is estimated that an attempt is made every minute, with close to 1 million attempting suicide annually.

Suicide is the third leading cause of death among teens and young adults. It is the leading cause of death for college students. Please help by participating in the Birmingham Out of the Darkness Walk and donating to the AFSP.

Walker registration will be from 1-2:30 p.m. on Nov. 3. The walk will begin at 2:30 p.m. The pathway is handicapped accessible, and pets on a leash are welcome.

Please visit http://www.afsp.org/alabama for registration and donation information.

Melissa Foster