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Westchester Walk Planned to Help Save Lives

It’s more than likely that you know someone whose life was affected by the tragic loss of a loved one to suicide.  What you might not know is that there are quite often life events and other warning signs that can signal someone at risk for suicide, and that intervention is just as often successful in saving lives.

And for those left behind—in shock and grief—there are also resources, such as therapy and books and support groups, to help them understand and cope with a loss.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention ( afsp.org ) holds walks every year—all over the country--to raise awareness about the issues surrounding suicide.  The walks are uplifting and affirming, a way for people to feel they are helping to save lives and honor suicide victims.

Teenage suicide has been in the news a lot, recently.  You’ll often see groups of teenagers at these walks, wearing t-shirts with photos of a friend or classmate who died by suicide.  “Team Brian,” one might say, or “We Love You Forever, Emily.”  It empowers these teens and helps them heal when they feel like there is something they can do to honor their fallen friends and possibly prevent future tragic deaths.

Military suicide has also been a tremendous problem in recent years.  Veterans and their families also come to these events.  Indeed, people from all walks of life come to show support, to learn more, to help themselves or others understand the emotional and mental issues concerning suicide.

A couple of weeks ago, roughly 500 people showed up for the walk in Croton Point Park.  There was a lively rock band, friendly dogs, children in strollers, refreshments.  Photos of lost loved ones were posted on colorful tribute boards with poems or other messages scrawled alongside.  Seeing so many young faces on these boards reminds us how incredibly important it is to raise awareness and reach out to those suffering depression.  So many young lives can be saved with intervention.

On Sunday, Oct. 16, there will be another walk—rain or shine, dogs and strollers welcome—at Harbor Island Park in Mamaroneck.  It starts at 10 a.m.—go early to register or visit OutOfTheDarkness.org to register online.  You can also call 914-487-2460 for more information.

There is NO registration fee or fund-raising minimum—just go to be supportive if you wish, and learn what you can do to help others—or yourself.

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