DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – According to the CDC, suicide rates are nearing epidemic levels. On Sunday, hundreds spent their afternoon in Oakwood, in an effort to reverse the trend.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is on a mission to save lives. Its goal is to reduce the country’s annual suicide rate by 20 percent within the next 9 years.
They’re taking several steps to reach it, literally.
About 800 people put on their walking shoes for the third annual, “Out of the Darkness walk” to bring awareness to suicide in Oakwood Sunday.
Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention.
Local organizers say they wanted to raise $35,000 dollars for mental health research and prevention with this year’s event and ended up raising more than $40,000 in the hopes of reducing what they call, a “silent epidemic.”
“Bringing these walks to Dayton helps people come to a safe place where they feel comfortable talking about it and we want to keep the conversation going about mental health and urging people to seek treatment,” said Sallie Wilson Luther, the “Out of the Darkness” walk coordinator.