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Moline Hosts Suicide Prevention Walk

Last years Chicagoland Out of The Darkness Walk.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Illinois Chapter
Last years Chicagoland Out of The Darkness Walk.

Members of the community will walk together in Moline this weekend to raise awareness about suicide prevention.

The Quad Cities Out of the Darkness Walk is one of 17 in Illinois, and 400 in the country this year. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention organizes the annual walks.

Angela Cummings is the executive director of the Illinois chapter. She says the organization was founded twenty years ago to reduce the stigma around mental health struggles.

"If someone died by suicide, the family didn't talk about, people didn't come around with a casserole afterwards for the survivors, people just stayed away," she said. "It seemed very scary and dark, and no one wanted to talk about it."

"In the 20 years that we've been having these events, the landscape has really flipped, you know, more and more people are open about their mental health journey."

Cummings says the free event is accessible, and isn't about walking long distances.

"An Out of The Darkness Walk is not an athletic event, it's an awareness event, and people will sometimes email and say, you know, I really can't walk very far, I'm older or I have a bad knee or whatever the case may be, and we say that's absolutely fine."

The walk will take place on Sunday, Sep. 24, at 1 pm, starting at the Wharton Field House on 20th Ave in Moline.

Another walk is set for Sep. 30 in Davenport at Garfield Park.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, call or text 988 for the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

Rachel graduated from Michigan State University's J-School and has a background in broadcast and environmental journalism. Before WVIK, she worked for WKAR Public Media, Great Lakes Now, and more. In her free time, she likes to cook, hike, and hang out with her cat.