This year I will be traveling to San Diego, California to participate in my 5th Overnight Walk for Suicide Prevention.
The Overnight Walk is a 16-18 mile walk that takes place each year beginning at sunset and going through the night until the sunrise. This is meant to symbolize bringing the issues of suicide and mental health conditions Out of the Darkness and into the light of day. This event aims to break down the stigma that is so often entangled with these subjects.
The Overnight Walk creates a safe space for those who have lost someone they love to suicide to grieve together and celebrate the memory of their loved ones. And for other participants, like myself, who struggle with mental health conditions, it is a safe place to not only share our stories of hope, but to find warmth, love and compassion in the arms of others who understand. It a safe place to create a conversation that will go far beyond ourselves, and save lives by breaking the silence.
Many of us have struggled in the darkness for so long, because we have been told that suicide, addiction, and mental health conditions are not be spoken about. And we have had to carry the burden alone for a long time. But it is through the Overnight Walk that we allow ourselves the freedom to raise our voice, to crack through the silence of the night, and call attention to the bigger picture.
Talking about suicide, saves lives. By breaking walls of the things that we are not “supposed to talk about”, we allow those who are in the deepest pain to reach out to us when it is most needed. And we allow ourselves to step into those dark situations and offer hope, even when others may not feel it. WE are a safe haven, and we want to extend that compassion and hope to the communities and individuals we encounter on a daily basis. Whether it is our closest friend, or a stranger on the commute to work, we aim to be the connection that keep someone from the brink of life and death.
As I continue to prepare for this year’s event, I will continue to share my connection to the cause. I ask that you watch the video down below to understand just how impacting this event is to those of who participate in it.
If you would like to donate this event and support me in my own journey of overcoming the darkness please click here: 2017 Overnight Walk Fundraising Page