Last year, I participated in the Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk for the first time. This is an incredible event by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), where participants nationwide join together to walk 16-18 miles overnight. I was genuinely inspired by everyone there, coming from all walks of life and supporting this cause together. From participants who suffered the loss of someone dear to them recently or long ago, to participants who just truly believed in this cause, a unified mission was clear: to bring light to the darkness surrounding mental illness, and to bring hope and help to anyone who may be suffering. What was shocking for me to learn was that mental illness is often misunderstood, and can be very hidden and isolating. It's so important to remove the stigma around it and equip people with resources to get help when needed.
The sad truth is, most of us have been impacted by mental illness in some way - whether through friends, family, colleagues or even personally. I am walking with the Tommy Fuss Team, in support of my boyfriend Dan and his family. Through the many stories I've heard about Tommy, I know that he was an incredibly vibrant, passionate, loyal and talented young man. He brought so much joy to his family and friends, who so lovingly keep him alive in memory. I am humbled to walk in Tommy's honor again this year.
This June, the walk is being held in Boston, which is right outside Tommy's home town of Wellesley. Net proceeds will help those affected by suicide and mental health conditions by supporting research, advocacy, survivor resources, education, and awareness programs. AFSP has set a bold goal to reduce the suicide rate 20% by the year 2025, and I'm proud to be part of that mission.
Thank you for your support in a cause I believe in. Let's take action together, in efforts to save save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide.