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'Out of the Darkness' walk in downtown Louisville raises money to prevent suicides

Through education, support and research, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is saving lives. Here's how to help Team WHAS11.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — According to research by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, ninety percent of people who die by suicide have an underlying, and potentially treatable, mental health condition.

Organizers hope to shine a light on the issue this weekend in Louisville with a walk/fundraiser on the Waterfront. Hundreds of people will come together for the "Out of the Darkness" walk. The goal is simple; raise awareness to prevent suicides. Through the funds raised, the AFSP is able to offer prevention education, loss and healing programs, and advocacy efforts.

The area Director in the Commonwealth, Megan Cole, got involved in 2016 after her own experience of losing a loved one to suicide.

"It was the first time I realized so many other families had been affected by suicide and I really wasn't alone," Cole said. "I had this huge community of support I could get involved with."

With a fundraising goal of $200,000, so much of that money goes towards efforts to educate and end the stigma surrounding suicide. With a change coming soon to how people receive services, the Kentucky AFSP chapter is preparing to help more people.

"The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline will become 9-8-8 in July of 2022, and we have to make sure our local call centers are funded to be able to answer that influx of calls," Cole said. 

RELATED: There is hope: List of resources for suicide prevention, emotional support

"It's going to be so much easier for people to reach crisis services."

If you'd like to walk this weekend or donate to the WHAS11 "Out of the Darkness team," you can follow this link to walk committee member Hayley Minogue's fundraising page.

To my friends here on Facebook, Suicide is the number three cause of death nationwide for people age 10-35, and suicide...

Posted by Hayley Minogue on Tuesday, October 26, 2021

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