MASON CITY, IOWA – United Way of North Central Iowa and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention will be holding the sixth annual Out of the Darkness Community Walk on Saturday, October 6 at Southbridge Mall, Mason City. The goal of the walk is to raise awareness of suicide, help alleviate the stigma of mental illness, and honor loved ones lost. Proceeds will benefit local and national suicide prevention and awareness programs.
Walkers can register online at www.outofthedarkness.org or register the day of the event at 12 p.m. The 3 mile walk begins at 1 p.m. There will be a brief program prior to the walk. There is no cost to participate, however participants are encouraged to raise funds for the cause.
Suicide is the 4th leading cause of death in the United States. It is the 2nd leading cause of death among Iowa’s youth. Every 14.2 minutes someone dies by suicide. Though suicide attempts are not reported, it is estimated that close to one million people make a suicide attempt each year.
“Suicide is a national health problem that takes an enormous toll on family, friends, co-workers, and the entire community,” says Andrea Mujica, United Way of North Central Iowa’s program coordinator. “The Out of the Darkness walk gives community members the chance to walk to raise awareness, walk to raise funds for research and walk to save lives.”
United Way’s mission is to support programs that empower healthy lifestyles, with an emphasis on mental health. United Way helps coordinate this walk to raise funds for North Central Iowa’s local Survivors of Suicide Loss Support Group, and annual International Survivors Conference on Saturday, November 17, 2012.
United Way of North Central Iowa is helping people, changing lives and building community by focusing on the building blocks of a better life: education, income and health. For more information about United Way, please contact us at 641-423-1774 or visit our website at www.unitedwaynci.org.