Suicide awareness 5k breaks fundraising record in Sarasota
SARASOTA - It feels like a celebration, but Sunday’s Out of the Darkness Community Walk at Nathan Benderson Park is profoundly deeper than a casual 5K.
“When I was dealing with my loss, I didn’t have anybody to talk to that had experienced my pain," says Kim Morton of Sarasota.
Morton lost both her husband and her father to suicide. Participating in this joint effort to raise awareness and funds toward the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is a source of healing for her.
“It’s been my saving grace. Let people know that they can find healing in suicide loss. It’s hard to communicate and it’s all about making that conversation and not being afraid to talk about," says Morton.
She says suffering in silence can lead to devastating consequences.
AFSP board member Ashley Bloom says their message is community support.
“So it’s research, it’s education, it’s changing the stigma that mental illness is something to be ashamed of or something you can’t get help with," says Bloom.
He says the turnout for Sunday’s walk shows how suicide does not discriminate.
“Really be there if you see someone that’s struggling, or if you see someone that you think might be helped, let them know that they’re not alone and that there is help out there," says Bloom.
According to Bloom, the walk drew in more than 1000 participants.
"This is by far the largest fundraiser we’ve ever had, ever, in Sarasota," says Bloom.
Visit AFSP.org for more information on how you can help #StopSuicide.