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This past weekend I had the humbling opportunity to attend and speak at an inspirational and touching "Out of Darkness" community walk at Pleasant Grove High School. What a beautiful facility and what a beautiful day, all for a beautiful purpose. A huge congratulations to the many, many volunteers who worked tirelessly to make it happen.
It was a moving experience to see so many who came to honor the memory of those who decided to take their own lives. All across the United States, teams of volunteers give of their time and resources to organize these walks to raise awareness of mental health and suicide prevention as well as fund-raise for educational and supportive efforts to prevent more lose. As the AFSP's website states:
"In the United States, a person dies by suicide every 13.7 minutes, claiming more than 38,000 lives each year. It is estimated that an attempt is made every minute, with close to one million people attempting suicide annually. Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. among adults 18-65, the second leading cause of death among teens and young adults, and individuals ages 65 and older account for 16 percent of all suicide deaths. This is a public health issue that does not discriminate by age, gender, ethnicity, or socio-economic status."
It was an amazing opportunity for me to participate because of all the wonderful people I met, but also because this is a subject that hits so very close to him since it was only years ago that I almost took my own life. Below is a copy of the speech that I gave to the event's attendees that I hope can inspire and comfort you in your own tough times. Don't give up. There is always hope.
Attention Baseball fans: The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and the University of Utah are hosting a special night at the Bee's game on August 3, 2013. Join me in bringing awareness to our community. Tickets are on sale for $15 & $10 of that goes to support the AFSP's efforts. The tickets are redeemable at the box office for any game this year for best available seats, but I invite you to come to this special event with me!
There will also be a silent auction for signed memorabilia from Angels and Bees players.
Join us August 3rd and let's continue to make our voices heard and bring suicide Out of the Darkness!
EVENT: Out of Darkness Night with the Salt Lake City Bees
WHEN: August 3, 2013 from 7-10pm
WHERE: Spring Mobile Ballpark - 77 West 1300 South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84115