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'Walk Out of Darkness' to prevent suicide

Almost 45-thousand Americans die by suicide every year, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Posted: Sep 15, 2018 10:51 PM

AUSTIN, Minn. - Peopl who have lost loved ones to suicide, people who are suicide and depression survivors, and other community members who want to support the fight to prevent suicide gathered at First Congregational Church on Saturday for the 'Walk out of Darkness.'

One of the chairs of the event, Laurie Squier, is a lived experience survivor, and the walk is important to her to help other people going through what she went through. "If they reach out and ask for help, they can talk to somebody. They can get through those moments of darkness and they can live such a better life. I don't want them to from 16 to 40 like I did and live in those ups and downs," she says.

At the event, another chair Darcy Nielsen shared the story of Tommy Aldrich, her cousin she lost to suicide in 2016. "To know Tommy was a gift... If he was here today, he would be talking to all of you, giving you hugs, and saying 'you've got a new friend,'" she addressed the crowd.

The walk exceeded its goal of raising $5,000 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The money will go towards suicide prevention research, advocacy, and education.

But for Squier and Nielsen, the walk is about so much more than money. "Whether they're somebody who has lost somebody to suicide, or they're someone who has a lived experience who maybe has tried to take their life by suicide, or had those thoughts and to see those come together and to see them embrace each other... to talk about it freely and to know that there's no stigma here," explains Squier.

"I wanted to become an advocate for my cousin Tommy because I want to be his voice and I want to raise awareness for anybody that's out there that has the feelings of depression or that they feel no one loves them. They are loved," adds Nielsen.

This is the walk's fourth year, and there are plans to hold the walk in Albert Lea next year.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 480845

Reported Deaths: 6511
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin997381576
Ramsey42744796
Dakota35818383
Anoka33010383
Washington21862253
Stearns18683200
St. Louis14655262
Scott13119107
Wright12414114
Olmsted1170088
Sherburne866373
Carver756340
Clay683686
Rice664291
Blue Earth587235
Kandiyohi576674
Crow Wing514780
Chisago493644
Otter Tail479470
Benton441390
Winona414248
Mower400231
Douglas390768
Nobles385347
Goodhue383368
Polk341062
McLeod336349
Beltrami335350
Morrison321846
Lyon311543
Itasca308545
Becker307841
Isanti303453
Carlton298544
Steele297611
Pine280616
Freeborn276823
Nicollet252341
Todd244030
Brown240737
Le Sueur230520
Mille Lacs225747
Cass218124
Waseca206917
Meeker205534
Martin186728
Wabasha18543
Roseau178317
Hubbard159740
Houston156414
Dodge15124
Renville147340
Redwood146327
Fillmore13648
Chippewa135735
Cottonwood133520
Wadena128120
Pennington127016
Faribault121716
Aitkin117833
Sibley116410
Rock115513
Watonwan11518
Kanabec106719
Pipestone100724
Yellow Medicine97617
Murray9418
Jackson92510
Swift87218
Pope7885
Marshall76815
Stevens7378
Lake72617
Clearwater71514
Lac qui Parle68216
Wilkin66510
Koochiching61711
Big Stone5123
Lincoln5032
Grant4888
Norman4648
Mahnomen4377
Unassigned43668
Kittson40721
Red Lake3544
Traverse3015
Lake of the Woods2131
Cook1190

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 359747

Reported Deaths: 5357
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk57625545
Linn20536311
Scott18203205
Black Hawk16187286
Woodbury14875211
Johnson1374173
Dubuque13480194
Dallas1123790
Pottawattamie10716140
Story1012945
Warren550271
Clinton540783
Cerro Gordo531080
Webster515686
Marshall493772
Sioux491568
Buena Vista469736
Des Moines455059
Muscatine446789
Wapello4261107
Jasper406865
Plymouth393377
Lee373551
Marion356969
Jones293854
Henry292535
Carroll284048
Bremer276554
Crawford272035
Boone258230
Washington253145
Benton250454
Mahaska223145
Jackson220438
Dickinson216338
Tama211564
Kossuth206954
Clay192925
Hamilton191641
Delaware188539
Winneshiek186926
Fayette184033
Buchanan183630
Page181619
Hardin179638
Wright179131
Harrison178969
Cedar175522
Clayton168153
Butler165731
Floyd162439
Mills162420
Cherokee153535
Madison153418
Poweshiek153429
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Lyon145441
Iowa143823
Allamakee143644
Appanoose138447
Grundy138230
Jefferson137532
Winnebago137530
Calhoun133010
Cass132448
Mitchell130040
Louisa127941
Union125931
Chickasaw124613
Sac123718
Emmet120740
Shelby119933
Franklin118319
Humboldt116725
Guthrie116028
Montgomery104036
Palo Alto103921
Howard102421
Clarke99220
Keokuk97529
Unassigned9300
Monroe92628
Adair91626
Ida90732
Pocahontas85419
Davis82223
Monona81525
Greene76610
Lucas73121
Osceola70014
Worth6907
Taylor66312
Fremont5869
Decatur5729
Van Buren55818
Ringgold51416
Wayne48621
Audubon4839
Adams3244
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