Out of the Darkness – Why we walk

Every year since 2009, the Out of the Darkness Community Walk, in Milwaukee leads me to help educate others and prevent suicide loss. In February 2015, I received an email from the walk chairperson announcing the date of the 2015 walk on October 4th. Having a secure date and location early allows more time to create awareness for the walk and promoting what it’s about. Even though more people sign up to walk, it brings a certain sadness for why we walk in the first place.

Before the walk, during check-in and registration, we receive honor beads to wear that represent why and who we’re walking for. Everyone wears blue beads to support the cause. In addition to those, I wear the red beads because I lost a spouse. This morning I realized that this year, I’ll also have purple beads representing the loss of a friend; my neighbor, Michael, completed suicide on February 11, 2015 after years of battling depression and other demons.

Here’s a listing from the Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk for all the honor color beads:

White – Lost a Child
Red – Lost a Spouse or Partner
Gold – Lost a Parent
Orange – Lost a Sibling
Purple – Lost a Relative or Friend
Silver – Lost First Responder / Military
Green – Struggled Personally
Blue – Support the Cause
Teal – Friends and Family of Someone Who Struggles

I discovered on Twitter this week through the National Institute of Mental Health @NIMHgov that “Suicide research is critically underfunded in the U.S.” and linked the Action Alliance Press Release article on the subject. We walk to help fund the research and education about suicide and how to prevent it from happening. Every week we watch the news to hear about another death by the completion to suicide in the U.S. or abroad from a child to an adult as a result of bullying, depression, another mental illness whether known or unknown. We need to step up and support the cause and prevent innocent lives from being lost!

Every year I form the team, Walking foRuss, and every year I walk. I may not have other people walking with me, but I walk with other friends’ teams to offer support and then to receive it. We all for a reason…we lost or know someone who lost someone to a disease still surrounded by stigma. Please help break the silence.

Out of the Darkness walks

Milwaukee Community Walk

Support me and team Walking foRuss

3 thoughts on “Out of the Darkness – Why we walk

  1. We just had the National Walk in Dallas last Saturday. It was an 18 mile affair. The Executive Director was down here. I was fortunate enough to be in the VIP receptions. We had 1500 walking and close to $1,400,000 in the coffer.

    There is some very interesting information about Deplin. Have you heard of this.

    • That sounds like it was a great event!

      I have not heard of Deplin (I had to Google it to see what this is). I have a love/hate relationship with prescription and over the counter medication. I try to avoid any unless medically necessary. I don’t have depression (or any mental illness), so I wouldn’t have known what’s this for without looking it up. While medication may be required for some people, I’d like to see more people seeking alternatives such as exercise, acupuncture, chiropractic care, and using essential oils to treat their dis-aeases.

  2. Deplin is pharmaceutical grade Vitamin B9 or Folic Acid. I

    Yes, I would rather see other alternatives put forth that does not involve the usage of pharmaceuticals. Talk therapy, exercise, nutrition, and/or chiropractics should be primary rather than the usage of psychotropic drugs.

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