Out of the Darkness Walk exhibits how “we are all connected by the water”

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Published: Jun. 4, 2022 at 3:13 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Among the 50 states, Alaska ranks second highest for deaths caused by suicide.

On June 4th, hundreds of residents gathered at the Lathrop High School track for the annual “Out of the Darkness” Walk.

People with all different backgrounds spoke about their mental health journeys, and things the community needs to continue doing to combat these issues.

Each participant had the opportunity to wear different colored beads to show others - without saying - what brought them to the walk.

One mother, Barbara Franks, wore white beads to represent losing her son to suicide.

Franks shared her touching story saying, “I’ve been involved with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention since my son’s death from suicide. Two days later, my husband of 25 years lost his battle to cancer. This has been a very long journey to come to a point to see people walking around and supporting each other because this is a healing event.”

The members of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention made sure to let the crowd know that beginning July 16th, all across the nation folks will be able to dial 988 in the event of a mental health crisis, rather than the lengthy 1-800 number.

The Fairbanks community wanted to let everyone know that they are not alone, with Franks adding, “We are all connected by the water.”

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