This past Saturday, I went on a practice walk conducted by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. They will host what the call an “Out of the Darkness” walk on April 25th here in Dallas, TX. They say on the their website, “Every year suicide claims more lives than war, murder, and natural disasters combined, and yet suicide prevention doesn’t get anywhere near the funding given to other leading causes of death. It’s up to walkers like us to make a difference….Suicide claimed 41,149 lives in 2013 in the United States alone, with someone dying by suicide every 12.8 minutes. A suicide attempt is made every minute of every day, resulting in nearly one million attempts made annually.
The practice walk started at Clyde Warren Park in Dallas and was well attended. There were some employees from the headquarters of this fine organization who came from New York. At first, I felt awkward because I had not rece3ived my blue tee shirt yet.
I met a lot of interesting people and was gratified to see that there were professionals involved with the walk as well. In fact, one of the professionals I walked with was a medical doctor who was walking not on his behalf. He began his practice having served as a surgeon during the Viet Nam war. He also deployed for Desert Storm and is now retired military.
I was impressed by the fact that his life is filled with compassion for others. Apparently, he was involved with Fort Worth becoming a “Compassionate Community.” There are a number of these communities in the United States. I intend to investigate further what the tile involves. If you have feedback about this, please send it my way.
This surgeon is active working with other to get other communities to take on the responsibilities of being a designated a Compassionate Community. Again, I am not sure what is involved with this; however, it would seem to be a worth endeavor for other municipalities.
On a personal note, I managed to get blisters all over the soles of my feet. The next day, I was sore, but it was well worth it. There will be more practice walks and strengthening to be done. Please check out the website following the theme “Out of the Darkness” and join us.