Community Members Walk for Suicide Prevention
About 2,000 people participated in this year's Out of the Darkness Walk
FARGO, N.D. — With every step taken, walkers at this year’s Out of the Darkness fundraiser are hoping to get to a world where suicide isn’t the answer for anybody.
“We’re physically walking together, which I think has its own health benefits and community–building benefits, but the actual act of fundraising and raising money for a cause that you believe in, that you’ve been affected by, is really powerful and I think it’s really healing,” said event organizer Brenda Weiler.
The walk started 14 years ago to raise awareness and funds for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
“All these people are here, they’re comfortable now coming to a public event, they’re comfortable coming out and talking about what happened to them, or what happened to their loved ones and that wasn’t happening 10, 15 years ago,” said Weiler.
Each walker wears a different colored bead necklace, representing the type of loss they’ve experienced due to suicide.
White represents the loss of a child.
“We’re here for our daughter, Katie. She passed away last September 29th,” said Lisa Bjorndahl.
Now, nearly a year since their daughter took her own life, 187 members of the Bjorndahl family are walking to help prevent someone else from experiencing the same thing.
“If it can affect Katie, it can affect anybody. She never showed a sign. Every picture you see of her since the day she was born, she was smiling. She was the one that made everybody laugh. She was a college fast–pitch softball player. Everybody loved her,” she said.
Their message to anybody struggling with their mental health is simple.
“There’s one person in your life that will help you if there’s not a thousand.”
If you weren’t able to make it to the walk, you can still donate online until December 31st at www.afsp.donordrive.com.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline available 24 hours everyday is 1-800-273-8255.