Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk for suicide prevention kicks off from Intrepid Museum

NEW YORK — Hundreds of people are taking part in an overnight walk in Manhattan in the fight against suicide.

The Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk kicked off from the Intrepid Museum on the West Side on Saturday night.

As CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock reports, the walk takes place in one night with one goal — stop suicide.

The cause is especially important for CBS2’s Cindy Hsu,

“I attempted suicide seven years ago, and there are so many people who are suffering from mental illness in silence, and so we need to talk about depression and bipolar and everything else and just normalize it because we’re not alone,” Hsu said .

Saturday night’s walk was a testament to that. Hsu along with 1,800 others whose lives have been affected by suicide walked 18 miles. Some wore t-shirts to remember those lost. Many wore honor bead symbolizing why they walk.

Hsu was the honor bead ceremony speaker and participated in the walk, wearing green beads to symbolize a personal struggle.

“My godbrother and I lost somebody that I love,” said Roland Brown, of Cambria Heights.

He also wears a permanent reminder of his godbrother, Matthew Goldbourne — a tattoo.

“It says ‘love’ and then upside down it says ‘pain’ and that’s for him,” Brown said.

“This is for a brother, my brother Jonathan,” said a participant named Ben.

Ten years ago, Ben lost his brother to suicide. Saturday marks his second Out of the Darkness Walk, and he says his team raised more than $35,000 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

“This foundation supports so many survivors of suicide,” Ben said.

“Our mission is to save lives and really bring hope to those who have been affected by suicide,” said Bob Gebbia, CEO of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Nicole Ryan, participating in her tenth walk, shares she lost a friend to suicide and she too struggles. For her, this walk is everything.

“There’s no stigma. You might feel alone on your darkest days, but you’re surrounded by people that relate,” she said.

Before the walk, Hsu took the stage to introduce others walking, including Yoni Samuel Seigel and his wife, Meg, who were wearing silver beads for their son Noah, who died by suicide in November while serving in the Army.

Seigel and his wife were also walking to increase awareness of the troubling rate of suicide among active military members.

Hsu also shared more of her personal story,

“I was suffering from depression and I got the warped idea that my family would be better off without me. Of course, that wasn’t true and fortunately, I lived,” she said.

This walk out of the darkness is a reminder to all there is hope, there is help, and as Hsu said, you are not alone.

This year’s Out of the Darkness Walk will raise more than $2.5 million for the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention. The money gets invested in research, education, advocacy and support.

CBS2 is a proud sponsor of the walk.

If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Network at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK), You can also text the word “TALK” to 741-741.

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