To the editor:
On Sept. 23, the Bainbridge Island community will be is hosting this year’s Kitsap Peninsula Out of the Darkness Community Walk to fight suicide. Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in this country. It touches millions of lives — people of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds — but the research is clear: Suicide is preventable, and the more people who stand up for suicide prevention and mental health, the more lives we can save.
If you’ve lost someone to suicide, or you or someone you know suffers from a mental health condition like depression or anxiety, please join us on Sept. 23 for a walk and gathering of community partners working for suicide prevention.
The walk itself will be an easy 2.5 miles through the downtown Winslow area beginning and ending at Bainbridge High School, designed for all interested to be able to participate.
I am most looking forward to the opportunity to attend the resource fair at Bainbridge High School before and after the walk. The resource fair will feature a group of community partners and organizations supporting mental health awareness and suicide prevention, with their representatives onsite to answer questions and provide information to all.
I’m walking for friends who have lost children to suicide, for family members struggling with mental illness and for our community to work past the stigma surrounding suicide.
Funds raised support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and its bold goal to reduce the annual suicide rate in the United States 20 percent by 2025 through research, education, advocacy and support.
These walks are truly uplifting experiences, and they grow every year. You can sign up to walk as individual, create a team, or to volunteer at the AFSP community walks website (www.afsp.org/kitsap). I hope you will join us there.