[symple_googlemap title=”3rd Street Promenade at Wilshire Boulevard” location=”3rd Street Promenade at Wilshire Boulevard” height=”300″ zoom=”15″]

More than 1,400 people are expected to take part Saturday in the Greater Los Angeles Out of the Darkness Community Walk in Santa Monica, hosted by the local chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

The fundraising walk supports the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s local and national education and advocacy programs and its goal to reduce the annual rate of suicide — the 10th leading cause of death in the United States — 20 percent by 2025.

‘We walk to raise awareness about this important health issue,” said AFSP Greater Los Angeles Area Director Traute Winters. “Suicide touches one in five American families. We hope that by walking, we save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide.”

The three-mile walk — which will begin at 9 a.m. on the 3rd Street Promenade at Wilshire Boulevard — is one of more than 375 Out of the Darkness Community Walks being held nationwide this year.

At its walk last year, the Greater Los Angeles Region Chapter raised more than $110,000 and had 1,000 participants.

Speakers lined up to speak to participants this year include AFSP CEO Robert Gebbia; and Anthony Cornelius, son of Don Cornelius of “Soul Train” fame, who died by suicide in 2012.

“These walks are about turning hope into action,” Gebbia said. “Suicide is a serious problem, but it’s a problem we can solve. The research has shown us how to fight suicide, and if we keep up the fight the science is only going to get better, our culture will get smarter about mental health, and we’ll be able to save more people from dying from depression and other mental health conditions.”

–City News Service 

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