By Staff Writer
More than 2,500 people came to the Santa Monica Pier to participate in the Greater Los Angeles Walk in Santa Monica to prevent suicide.
This community awareness and fundraising walk supports the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s education and advocacy programs with the goal of reducing the annual rate of suicide 20 percent by 2025.
“Everyone has a role to play. I want to encourage people to get involved. This is not a health issue that should be ignored or be too afraid to check in with those we care about. It’s as easy as reaching out to a friend or family member who may need your support. Just listening can make a world of difference and encouraging help seeking if times are tough,” said singer Alex Boyé, who performed his new song Bend Don’t Break during the opening ceremony at the event.
The Greater Los Angeles Out of the Darkness Community Walk in Santa Monica was one of more than 420 walks being held nationwide in 2018. These walks are expected to unite more than 275,000 people while raising millions of dollars for suicide prevention efforts.
“As a result of the loss of my father to suicide in 1979 and my son’s best friend this year, I was catapulted into a need to do something… anything to help bring mental illness literally “Out of the Darkness” and into the light. When I attended my first AFSP volunteer meeting I immediately knew I found the right fit as I was embraced by the community and felt this was an organization where I could tangibly make a difference,” said participant Anastasia Johnson.
Local sponsors for the Out of the Darkness Greater Los Angeles Walk included: the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Rams, GoGuardian, DeRubeis Fine Art of Metal, Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co., Providence St. Joseph Health, Recovery Addiction Services, Rabbi Sara Berman, LightHopeLife, Callas Rennsport and the LA Kings.
For more information, visit www.afsp.org