Western Mass. fights back against suicide

suicide prevention: out of the darkness walk held at westfield state university

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – More than 1,000 people walked the streets of Springfield Sunday to fight back against suicide.

The annual Out of the Darkness Community Walk in Springfield is just one of hundreds of community walks that’ll take place across the country this fall.

Neena Grover, who lost her son to suicide, said it’s one of the best ways to raise both awareness and money to help prevent suicides in the future. “It’s not only my son, its other people who’ve lost their children. They died of an illness, so I don’t want them to be forgotten,” she said.

The walk is part of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and helps raise money for suicide prevention programs.

But that’s not all it does, for people like Riley Dipilo, it also serves as a reminder their loved ones are still close by. “My sister died a little over a year ago, and I think she is here, and I think she’s just so proud of me for raising all of this money for such a great cause,” he said.

Their goal is to reduce the annual rate of suicide by 20-percent by 2025 through prevention and awareness programs.

Barry Sarvet, the Chair of Psychology at Baystate Health told 22News those programs save lives by detecting medical conditions that often lead to suicide, like depression. “The problems often seem too big, but they don’t realize all of the time that there’s something wrong inside, something that’s causing them to see the world in a way that’s not always realistic,” he said.

22News I-Team reporter Ryan Walsh emcees Springfield’s Out of the Darkness Walk. 22News is also a proud sponsor.

This year, their goal is to raise $100,000 in total.

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