“Out of the Darkness" event raises awareness for suicide prevention

"Out of the Darkness" event raises awareness for suicide prevention
Published: Sep. 26, 2020 at 3:55 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - September is Suicide Prevention Month, and Saturday a walk was hosted in Sioux Falls at Terrance Park to help spread awareness for the cause.

Registration for the event began at 9 o’clock in the morning, with opening ceremonies starting at ten.

The event featured a bead ceremony, which addressed the purposes for the different colors of beads. The colors represent each individual’s different connection to the cause.

Angela Drake, Out of the Darkness Walk Chair, says the beads represent, "either someone that you’ve lost or your own personal struggle.”

At the conclusion of the walk, participants were encouraged to partake in a rock and feather ceremony.

Drake says the rock signifies burdens that you will let sink away, and the feather represents your hope, which will flourish.

“We hope that you leave a little bit lighter and a little bit more full of hope,” Drake said.

A keyword that stuck throughout the event was “Hope.”

“It’s really important to keep bringing hope to those that are still here,” said walk participant Briana Scribner.

COVID-19 protocols were also taken to help ensure the safety of the people that attended.

At several stations around the park masks and hand sanitizers could be found. Walkers were also spaced into smaller groups to help with social distancing during the walk.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) doesn’t want the conversation about suicide to end with September. That is why they have more events scheduled throughout the rest of the year.

The next event is International Survivor of Suicide Loss Day which takes place on November 22nd.

If you are having thought of suicide or depression please call the National Suicide at hotline at 1-800-273-8255

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