It’s the end of suicide awareness month and the Lansing community came together with an awareness walk to support those affected by mental illness.
The Out of the Darkness Community Walk is an annual event that happens throughout the country and is sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
About one thousand people attended the gathering Saturday, September 27th at Hawk Island Park, raising almost $54,000.
“Half of the money that we raise here stays locally and half of it goes to the national level,” said Liz Baker, co-chair of the event. “The national level provides advocacy and research and support. Locally, with the money raised here, we’re able to bring programming and resources to the community.”
Baker lost a close friend to suicide in 2014 and came across the walk by accident.
“I ended up getting involved with the walks and was able to turn something so tragic into something amazing and share hope and healing with other people who need it the most,” she said.
Baker said this event brings so much support to people in the community who have struggled with mental illness or have lost someone to suicide.
“It means…everything to me. To me, the community you know it’s hope and healing and it shows the community that you’re not alone and there are people that have experienced losses very similar and are here and they understand.”
If you or someone you know is in need of help, contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.