American Society for Suicide Prevention.
It's a terrific organization, with a great mission and wonderful resources.
This is my third walk since I learned about the event four years ago (and remember when I got to go the the White House?). I couldn't do it last year because of the timing. But my hope is to walk every year.
When I walked the second year, a friend asked me why I was doing it again. The only answer I had was that I needed to.
And as time goes on, I have more reasons to walk. I wish this were not the case.
I am so much more familiar with suicide than I would like to be. Perhaps you are as well.
Each year 42,773 Americans die by suicide. It is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. On average, there are 117 suicides per day.
So here is my ask: I would ask that you please look at my Out of the Darkness Overnight donation page, and consider supporting my walk, if you are so inclined and have the means.
And to all, I would ask that you do me this favor. Help me end the stigma of mental illness and suicide. Talk about them like you talk about high blood pressure or diabetes or diarrhea. (OK, maybe you don't talk about diarrhea.)
But you know what I'm saying.
Help me make these a normal topic of conversation, so that those who suffer in silence no longer do so.
I drop the fact that I take antidepressants into conversation regularly. And more often than not, whoever I am talking to says, "Me, too."
I want people to feel good about seeking help, confiding in a friend, talking to their doctor. Mental illness is so common, and so many people think they are the only one. I don't want anyone to live in fear, in shame, in darkness.
Please help me bring the light.
Thank you and big hugs.