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“Out of the Darkness” and onto the track

The annual out of the darkness walk will take place on June 4th in support of suicide and...
The annual out of the darkness walk will take place on June 4th in support of suicide and mental health awareness.(Alex Bengal | KTVF/KXDF)
Published: Jun. 3, 2022 at 6:18 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Alaska Chapter of the American Suicide Prevention Foundation will be hosting the annual “Out of the Darkness Walk” at Lathrop High School on June 4th.

Residents will have the opportunity to walk laps around the track - and each step they take is meant to bring awareness of community support for mental health awareness.

An advocate for mental health awareness - 2022 Mrs. Alaska Fabulous Face, Victoria Cason - said, “There are people who have experienced mental health detriments themselves and have had family members who have lost their lives to suicide - and these people coming out to make a statement of ‘We’re here to make a change.’ Facilitating that normalcy is what this walk is all about.”

Each donation will go toward the foundation’s $100,000 dollar goal to help fund lifesaving research, education programs, and also support loss for survivors and advocacy efforts.

Dustin Morris, the director of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Alaska Chapter said, “[In] Alaska, being so far away from folks can definitely have an effect on a person, but just that move alone or just the dark or the daylight alone are not what causes suicide.”

Morris went on to say depression and suicidal thoughts can occur in people’s lives, especially when life throws them a curve ball.

Major life changes can be the beginning or ending of a relationship, relocation, job changes and sudden loss.

Morris explained, “The hope is we can overcome the stigma associated with suicide so that it encourages help-seeking, and those that are struggling with their own mental health can also reach out for help when they need it.”

Registration for the out of the darkness walk will begin at 10:00 a.m. The walk will begin one hour later.

Cason said, “Come out. You’ll find somebody, a volunteer wearing a volunteer shirt that can guide you, help you learn about what we stand for and what you can do in your community to better help as well.”

We will have more on this Saturday as we will be attending the “Out of the Darkness” walk to bring you more.

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