‘Out of The Darkness’ a World Day of Hope and Awareness’
by Rick Tabor, MS, LMHC | RC of Honolulu | Rotary Cares Walk, Team Captain
World Suicide Prevention Day is an awareness day observed every year on September 10th, in order to provide worldwide commitment and action to prevent suicides, with various activities around the world since 2003. 
Hawai’i’s American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Out of Darkness Walk, raised $65,252.75. AFSP Co-Chair & Rotarian, Kathleen Rhoads Merriam says, walk organizer’s goal was $50,000. 200 walkers were expected and over 600 walkers participated in the event. Hawai’i truly cares about suicide prevention. After a two year pandemic break, the in-person enthusiasim was incredible. As team captain for our Rotary Cares Walk Team and helping set up the Rotary Refreshment tent, I felt the love all morning. As we moved past the stigma and listened to listen, in hopes of a world that cares for those who want to be heard. Saturday’s event was incredible! Thank you Kathleen, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Out of Darkness Walk volunteers and participants! 
The walk Skygate, Hale Honolulu event offered four awareness activitie tents to explore, before and after the walk; the Resource Fair tent hosted several community resources. The Memory Wall, where participants posted notes, pictures and expressions of love for their heavenly loved ones, along with honor beads, a life keeper quilt and kraftie kousins, suicide awareness / prevention crafts and the first aid station. AFSP’s registration tent offered awareness merchindise, resources and literature and the Rotary Refreshment Tent and Rotary Cares walk team consisted with four Oahu Rotary Clubs coming together as key walk event partners and D5000 Plumeria Sponsor establishing how much Rotarians truly care about helping Hawai’i become a suicide safer community. The Rotary Cares Team raised $2410 and had 25 volunteers and walk participants. Mahalo my fellow Rotarians! I tell you what, the world’s a better place because of Rotarians.
Let’s talk facts. Sadly, Hawaii experiences a suicide death every other day. Men ages 85 and older have the highest suicide rate of any group in the country. Many factors contribute to this risk, including isolation, a history of violence, and easy access to lethal means. Suicide prevention and awareness will best be managed through education, awareness and eliminating the stigma. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among people age 15 to 24 in the U.S. Nearly 20% of high school students report serious thoughts of suicide and 9% have made an attempt to take their lives, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. 
If you know someone who needs help, please call 988.
Who is AFSP? The nonprofit’s grassroots work focuses on eliminating the loss of life from suicide by delivering innovative prevention programs, educating the public about risk factors and warning signs, raising funds for suicide research and programs, and reaching out to individuals who have lost someone to suicide. AFSP's mission is to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide. They fund research to improve interventions, train clinicians in suicide prevention, and advocate for policy that will save lives.
AFSP uses the donation funds to: Fund Research for Suicide Prevention, Create and Distribute Education Programs, Advocate for Public Policy.
For more AFSP information; https://afsp.org/about-afsp