‘Out of the Darkness’ walk in Mamaroneck aims to raise suicide awareness

Residents in Mamaroneck participated in the Out of the Darkness walk Saturday to raise awareness of suicide as part of Mental Health Awareness Month.

News 12 Staff

Oct 16, 2021, 3:41 PM

Updated 952 days ago

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Residents in Mamaroneck participated in the Out of the Darkness walk Saturday to raise awareness of suicide as part of Mental Health Awareness Month.
Various teams in different colored shirts participated in honor of lost loved ones. Out of the Darkness Chair Sara Ramos said suicide is a difficult topic to discuss, but the event was a celebration of life and of support for each participant.
Collectively, they've raised about $90,000 out of the $100,000 goal. All the money is going toward the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
With the past year of economic instability, lost loved ones and isolation – concerns of suicide are more pressing than ever.
"The pandemic has really, really shone a light on the importance of mental health," Ramos said, who also lost her brother to suicide.
"My brother Tyler was a freshman in college, 18 years old," she said. “Survivor's guilt is very powerful and real. You become almost a detective of all the things that you could've, would've, should've."
The teams walked around Mamaroneck Harbor and released doves to honor their loved ones. It also served as a way for collective healing.
"It's just one of the first times I feel like, 'oh my gosh! I'm not the only one'," said Westchester AFSP board member Judy Battista, who also lost her son 20-year-old son, Danny.
"I can't stress that enough. Being around people who understand what you've gone through is so comforting," Ramos said.
Westchester AFSP said it's OK to seek therapy and to look out for signs, especially in people dealing with depression.
"Anytime someone says to you that they're hurting, that they're having a bad day, that they're experiencing depression or they're experiencing sadness, take it seriously. Ask questions. Encourage the person to get help," Ramos said.
Several other AFSP chapters are also planning to hold walks next weekend.


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