According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the 9th leading cause of death in North Dakota.
That foundation hosted its 14th annual Out of The Darkness Walk today at the Capitol.
The walk raises awareness of suicide prevention education, advocacy, and support for survivors.
700 people participated in the walk and helped the organization raise more than $60,000 to support suicide intervention and other resources.
“That’s why we’re here today. We’re telling our community; we need to make mental health a priority and when these community events happen. Community members know that they are supported, and they are not alone,” American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Area Director Samantha Christopherson said.
At the event, people pinned loved ones’ pictures on a board as they remembered the lives lost from suicide.
One participant shared how he lost a loved one at an early age, and says he’s thankful for the support offered now compared to growing up.
“I lost my father when I was 9 years old to suicide and back then, that was about 57 years ago. Nothing was done, there was no counseling, there was no talking about it, it was really quiet,” AFSP Board Member Brian Gale said.
The money raised today goes toward supporting the organization’s mission to save lives and provide hope for those affected by suicide.
To learn more about the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention click here.