Walk sheds light on the difficult subject of suicide

Dozens of people took a solemn walk around Alpenglow Park in Southeast Bend on Saturday.

The Out of Darkness Walk was organized to remember those who committed suicide and to raise awareness about this difficult subject.

“Because that’s what it will take to stop suicide is to speak up and reach out to people who are struggling,” said March participant Carol Palmer.

The Oregon Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention hosted the event.

It was the first time the march had taken place in person since the COVID-19 pandemic.

People’s lives have changed dramatically since the start of the global pandemic, and mental well-being has become as important a topic as physical health.

“People who have never struggled were isolated and alone and facing mental health for the first time,” said event organizer Angela Perry.

Many of the march participants had been directly affected by suicide.

“It’s a start, it’s a start for me,” Bend’s Regan Eastland said.

She lost a younger brother a year and a half ago.

“And it hurts, it really hurts. I didn’t know he was struggling so much and it’s hard, it’s hard to think what I could have done, how could I have helped him,” Eastland said.

Many of those walking on Saturday knew how Eastland felt, she was not alone.

And that’s why just walking around with other people affected by suicide can help with healing.

If you, or someone you know, is in crisis, there is help available.

You can call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 9-8-8.

▶️ “It’s okay to ask for help”: Launch of Oregon’s 988 mental health hotline

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