My uncle’s death is what brought me to the Georgia Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. I became involved to honor his memory and help those struggling with suicidal ideation or suicide loss. After serving as a volunteer, Junior Board and Board of Directors member for more than 6 years, I view all things AFSP does as a way for all those who have been affected by suicide to find healing. Some find healing through an Out of the Darkness Walk, others find it through educational programming, while still others find it through our advocacy work.
At the time of my uncle’s death, I was too young to understand suicide or even death. All I knew was my friend was gone forever, and my family was hurting. As an uncle and a new father, I could not imagine leaving the ones I love behind, but at the same time, I have never been through the deepest, darkest shadows of depression or experienced living with a debilitating mental illness. Unfortunately, many have and are struggling and need help. In fact, recent data shows suicide is the third leading cause of death for Georgia residents ages 10 to 34.
On November 6 in Piedmont Park, I will be participating in an Out of the Darkness Walk and stepping into a growing movement of people sending the message that suicide can be prevented and that together, we can do more to save lives and support everyone’s mental health. By walking together, we can ensure help is more easily available and everyone knows the love and support that exists for those in distress and those who have lost someone to suicide.
The money raised from the Walk will fund critical research that will improve suicide prevention outreach and treatment, empower volunteers to advocate for suicide prevention policies, Organize programs for survivors of suicide loss and much more.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has set a bold goal to reduce the annual U.S. suicide rate 20 percent by the year 2025 — that’s tens of thousands of lives saved.
With September being National Suicide Prevention Month, I ask you to help us inch closer to our goal with a donation here.