By Jennifer Jaramillo

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention sponsors Out of the Darkness community walks to bring awareness to suicide prevention. Participants and volunteers met on Saturday at the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts to help people who have been affected by suicide.

“It’s a day people get together and get to talk to each other, the sad thing is most of these people lost somebody but it is good to talk to people who have lost someone too. It’s therapy,” said John Kissane, the Out of the Darkness chairman who lost his son to suicide two years ago.

He hopes the walk will help others and prevent suicide in the future. Although Kissane says he’s happy to see people come out to the event, high turnout numbers are bittersweet.

“I wish there wasn’t that many people here, I wish there was not that many suicides it’s awful,” Kissane said.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention also helps people like Sherri Brown find local support groups.

“When Brenda killed herself I needed hope. I felt lost terrified and heartbroken and I was very lucky that I went on the internet and googled American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and that’s how I found the support group that I went to and I meet some of the most amazing people,” Brown said.

The walk helped raise money to fund scientific research on the causes of suicide as well as the treatment of those at risk for suicide.

“Suicide is a huge issue and suicide prevention is a big issue in of itself so this walk is to support those who lost someone to suicide and to help raise money to further research and education to help prevent suicide,” said Patricia Graham from the Institute of Living at Hartford Hospital.

Proceeds from the walk totaled around $16,000.

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