(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) This year's Out Of The Darkness Walk (OOTD) returned to the track at Bishop LeBlond Sunday for the first time since the pandemic.
While there may have been less people in attendance this time around the overall message of spreading awareness about mental health remained.
"It's a much needed conversation," Barb Mares, Area Director, Greater Kansas chapter American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).
Accoring to the AFSP, suicide is the leading cause of death for people age 10 to 34, something Mares desperately wants to change
"Our goal is to reduce the suicide rate by 20% by 2025," Mares said.
Kerry Harvey, chairperson of the OOTD walk said progress is being made, she stressed the importance of treating ourselves on the inside the same we do on the outside.
"Mental health is as important as physical health," Harvey said.
Organizers said the more suicide is talked about, the more people will recognize the signs and intervene before it's too late.
If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, help is avaliable. Contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).