GOSHEN — In the era of COVID-19, as everyone tries to protect their mental health and cope with uncertainty, it’s more important than ever to be there for each other and take steps to prevent suicide. Michiana residents will be joining the thousands of people who are gathering in towns across the United States to draw attention to the suicide prevention movement.
The second annual Michiana Out of the Darkness Experience, hosted by the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention Indiana, will be held from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 26, at Shanklin Park near the baseball fields. Volunteers will wear masks.
This gathering will support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s education and support programs and its bold goal to reduce the annual US rate of suicide by 20 percent by 2025.
Participants are encouraged to walk the trail on their own after receiving their gift bag while practicing social distancing and local health guidelines. Share your encouraging walk photos with hashtags #MichianaOOTD and #TogetherToFightSuicideMichiana.
“Suicide touches one in five American families. By connecting and sharing our stories with each other, we will keep going in the fight to stop suicide. Together, our community sends the message that you are never alone, that healing is possible and when we connect, we create hope. Together we keep going,” said Stephen Gray, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Indiana Chapter volunteer and Michiana Walk chairman.
The Michiana out of the Darkness Experience is one of the hundreds of events being held nationwide this year.
“We can all learn new ways to help each other save lives,” said AFSP CEO Robert Gebbia. “By joining an Out of the Darkness Experience, you can show people that we are strong, we are resilient and we are hopeful. Together, we can create a culture that’s smart about mental health.”
Many local businesses have donated or sponsored Michiana Out of the Darkness Experience including Goshen Parks and Recreation, Bowen Center and Elkhart County Health Department. To donate or join this event, visit www.afsp.org/michiana.