Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Out of the Darkness

I've been thinking a lot about all this ice bucket hullabaloo and trying to decide how I feel about it. And I think one of the problems I'm having is that I feel like if you're going to donate to a cause, it should be one you feel strongly about. I have nothing against ALS research, and I know the disease is horrible, and it would be wonderful to find a cure. But I've decided that if I were to donate some of my limited funds, it would be to something I personally and truly want to raise awareness and funds for.

On top of all of this, I've been struggling with some thoughts about the questions raised with Robin Williams' suicide. The most important of which, I think, is trying to open a discussion on mental health.

Mental disorders are greatly stigmatized and misunderstood, that much is obvious. Nearly everyone knows someone who does or has suffered with depression. So the cause I would like to support is this:

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention holds an annual fundraising event that, to me, looks awesome. It's an overnight walk called "Out of the Darkness", which is intended to bring survivors of suicide or loss together, to let them know they are not alone, to raise awareness for mental health issues, and to raise money for prevention, education, and research.

I wish I could participate in one of these walks. Unfortunately, only two cities host them, and the donations are more than I can handle. But luckily for me (and you!), there are local Community Out of the Darkness walks that are much easier to participate in. There is no required donation or registration fee, and instead of 16-18 miles, you only walk 3-5. And it's during the day.

The one being held in Salt Lake City is being held on Saturday, September 13th at 10:45am.  That's two weeks from this weekend.

I have started a team for this walk, because this is very important and personal to me. If you could, I would love to have you and your family and friends participate in some fashion.  Our team's fundraising website can be found here.  The registration homepage (complete with event details) can be found here.

If you would like to join our team, when you register, simply select the team "C Lights" from the drop-down (the reason for picking that name I may save for another time). You can choose to just walk with us, donate, or both. Or, you can walk by yourself or create your own team.

I am very excited about this. I hope one day we can live in a world where suicide isn't stigmatized or romanticized; where people can feel safe in asking for help, where people can know that they are not alone in dealing with loss, or dealing with chronic mental illness.

There are lots of noble causes. But hopefully through this kind of awareness, no one will have to suffer silently from this anymore.

Hope to see you in Sugarhouse in a couple of weeks!

1 comment:

LP said...

This is awesome. Count me in!