suicide walk

Telluride’s 5th Annual Southwest Colorado Out of the Darkness is Sunday from 9-11 a.m., starting in Telluride Town Park. (Courtesy photo)

As we all try to protect our mental health and cope with uncertainty, it’s more important than ever that we be there for each other and take steps to prevent suicide. Residents from Telluride and surrounding areas will be joining the thousands of people who are gathering in towns across the United States to draw attention to the suicide prevention movement. The 5th Annual Southwest Colorado Out of the Darkness Walk will be held on Sunday from 9-11 a.m. at Telluride Town Park. The gathering will support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s education and support programs and its goal to reduce the annual U.S. rate of suicide 20 percent by the year 2025. The funds raised from the walk will make their way back into the community through evidenced-passed prevention efforts like safeTALK suicide alertness training and Mental Health First Aid.

“Suicide touches one in five American families. By connecting and sharing our stories with each other, we will keep going in the fight to stop suicide. Together, our community sends the message that you are never alone, that healing is possible, and when we connect, we create hope. Together we keep going,” said Corinne Cavender, the co-chair of the Telluride walk and Tri-County Health Network’s behavioral health operations coordinator.

The Southwest Colorado Out of the Darkness Walk is one of hundreds of events being held nationwide this year. Speakers at the Southwest Colorado Out of the Darkness Experience will include Lollie Lavercombe, Cara Wilde and Cavender.

“We can all learn new ways to help each other save lives,” American Foundation for Suicide Prevention CEO Robert Gebbia said. “By joining an Out of the Darkness Walk, you can show people that we are strong, we are resilient, and we are hopeful. Together, we can create a culture that’s smart about mental health.”

Local sponsors for the Southwest Colorado Out of the Darkness Walk include HannoverRe, LIV Sotheby’s International Realty, ANB Bank, Telluride CrossFit, Tri-County Health Network, Smith Law Firm, Fairmont Heritage Place Franz Klammer Lodge, Mountain Lodge Telluride, RCM Advisors, Wagner Custom, Mangala Yoga, Studio G, Brown Dog, Tim’s Naturals, The Center for Mental Health, Timberline Ace Hardware, Slate Gray Gallery, Jagged Edge, Pinhead Institute, Exceptional Stays, Medicine Ranch, Telluride Rotary Club, Mixx Projects and Atelier, Coffee Cowboy, Telluride Mountain Club, Zia Sun, Mountain Adventure Equipment, and Animal Hospital of Telluride, among others. Many local organizations have donated items to this year’s silent auction, which shouldn’t be missed, event organizers shared.

The event will begin at 9 a.m. with registration, coffee and resource tables in Telluride Town Park. There will also be a place to create your own sign to walk with or bid on silent auction items. At 10 a.m., the walk will be introduced with a musical act and speeches. Participants will then come together to walk down Main Street in honor of those lost to suicide and those who are still struggling with their mental health. The walk will conclude back in Town Park, where the winners of the silent auction will be announced.

“It is important, now more than ever, that we show our community we think mental health matters,” according to an American Foundation for Suicide Prevention news release.

The foundation is dedicated to “saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. AFSP creates a culture that’s smart about mental health through education and community programs, develops suicide prevention through research and advocacy, and provides support for those affected by suicide. Led by Gebbia and headquartered in New York, the foundation has local chapters in all 50 states with programs and events nationwide.

To learn more about the foundation, including viewing its latest annual report, or to join the conversation on suicide prevention, follow the organization on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube.

To donate or join Sunday’s event, visit afsp.org/swco. To learn more about Tri-County Health Network’s behavioral health programs and resources, visit tchnetwork.org/behavioral_health.