LANSING, Mich. — It’s a national effort to raise awareness about suicide loss and prevention. Across the country hundreds of communities are holding Out of the Darkness walks.
On Sunday, one of those walks is happening here in Lansing at Adado Riverfront Park.
“When I was 17 I lost a good friend to suicide and it rocked my entire world. I always tell people he was the last person I would’ve thought would take his life. And being 17 I didn’t have the experience with suicide loss or even mental health," said event organizer Liz Baker.
Since her loss, Baker has found what she calls her village through the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, which has helped her cope and inspired her to help others.
Baker works in several capacities though the nonprofit but both she and her husband work for a private ambulance company and encounter many calls related to suicide loss and attempts.
“It breaks my heart every time that is a call that we have to go out on. The advocate in me wants to help provide resources but you have to kind of separate yourself from it and look at it through a different lens,” said Baker.
For the last four years, Baker has worked to put together the Out of the Darkness Lansing / Capital Area Walk but last year COVID forced organizers to make the event virtual.
In previous years, the walk has drawn well over 1,000 people. This year 600 have signed up so far.
The walk starts and ends at Adado Riverfront Park but will take walkers through the city.
“We will start with the bridge at Adado. We will have signage and walk around the Lansing Center up to the Capitol. We’ll weasel back through some of the side streets. Then we have a river trail portion to add some peace and tranquility to the walk,” Baker said.
The goal for this year’s walk is to raise $100,000.
As of today, they are a little under the halfway point.
The deadline to sign up online is Friday, but organizers say anyone who wants to participate can show up on Sunday and sign up on-site.
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