National Suicide Prevention Week is September 8th through September 14th. For many people, it's our reminder to love on those around us and encourage friends and family to keep going. We keep losing so many famous American artists, singers, actors, to suicide. This week we lost a mental health advocate who constantly shared his struggles and even wrote a book about it.

Jarrid Wilson who was a megachurch pastor in Southern California at Harvest Christian Fellowship Church died earlier this week by suicide. Pastor Wilson was known for his mental health advocacy, in 2016, he founded Anthem of Hope. He left behind 2 young sons and a wife.

My best friend Phung lost her boyfriend to suicide. I remember meeting Brian for the first time in a downtown bar, he was the life of the party. When I found out that Phung and Brian were dating I was elated, he would come over and mow our lawn, my dog would chew up his flip flops, we were one weird but happy unit. If there was a party, Brian was the center of attention. None of us knew he was battling demons of his own. We lost Brian to suicide in September of 2014. Truly, you never know what someone is going through.

My friend Phung found out about the Out of the Darkness Walk and we all started being a part of a walk in our area. Many of us who have lost a loved one to suicide can register for a walk with hundreds of others who have dealt similar heartache. We can join the effort with hundreds of thousands of people to raise awareness and funds that allow the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) to invest in new research, create educational programs, advocate for public policy, and support survivors of suicide loss.
Out of the Darkness Northwest Louisiana Walk:

If you need more information or you want to help out or donate you can contact Barbie Hutches at 510-565-6715 or by email at Online registration closes at noon the Friday before the walk. Registration is free and open to the public. Walk donations are accepted until December 31st.

"Thanks to Walkers and Donors like you, AFSP has been able to set a goal to reduce the annual suicide rate 20% by 2025." #OutoftheDarkness

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