I wasn’t going to do the Overnight Walk again.  Not after walking in memory of my dad in last year’s American Foundation for Suicide Prevention “Out of the Darkness” 18-mile overnight fundraising walk in San Francisco.  Once felt like enough, especially after the stunning outpouring of support from friends, family, and even people I didn’t know.  For one thing, I couldn’t imagine asking for financial support again.  For another, I’ve been so dispirited by all the terrible news in the past year about soaring suicide rates in the U.S. (including the U.S. military) and around the world.  Aside from the heartbreaking loss of life, I can’t help but think of all of the people left behind to deal with the awful aftermath, particularly the children.

If the only thing the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention did was provide money for suicide prevention research I think I might sit out the walk this year.  But as the chair of AFSP’s “Survivor Council,” which oversees the organization’s programs for people who have lived through the suicide of loved ones, I know that AFSP also devotes critical resources to helping people like me cope with a suicide loss.  For example, one new program trains people to facilitate support groups for children and teens who have lost loved ones to suicide.  I can only imagine what a difference a support group like that would have made in my life when I was 12 years old and first dealing with my father’s suicide.  Another program produces an annual recorded panel discussion for International Survivors of Suicide Day, which I moderated last year (in case you’re interested here’s a link to the video:  www.afsp.org/webcastondemand2012).

So after much thought I’ve decided to participate in the June 1 Overnight Walk in Washington, DC, and to ask for support once again.  I haven’t set an ambitious fundraising goal this year as I did last year because it doesn’t feel appropriate to ask for (or to expect) that kind of generosity two years in a row.  But I’ll welcome whatever financial support I receive.  As a board member of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention I’ll do my best to make certain it’s put to good use.  Here’s a link to my donation page:  http://bit.ly/11MPP65

6 Responses to Why I’m Walking

  1. Bobby says:

    I am glad you walked!

  2. Kathy says:

    You are courageous to do the walk again and even to face up to the tragedy. I’ve started a film project to help prevent suicide among teens. Our film project, “What You Don’t See” is an intense comedy/drama written with the help of young people to help prevent suicide. It is our goal to get this project filmed and distributed to as many young people, middle and high schools, as possible in hopes of preventing this tragedy.



  3. My new novel, Broken People is a book about a bulimic suicidal teen. It has been described by early reviews as being “a life changing eye-opener”.

    Having lost four loved ones to suicide, I though this book was an appropriate debut novel.

    It may change the way you look at life.


  4. Ronald Frederick Madigan says:

    Well hello. I am new to blogging . . but I have some important information to share. I saw a photo of a young suicide victim in the paper and it hurts. I am sick of it! If I could have spoken to that individual they would be alive today . . and God knows how many more. You see these vulnerable people suffer from incorrect thinking. In the main there is nothing wrong with them. Nothing!
    Here is an idea! Go to a quiet place and meditate. Imagine you are in a forest . . listen to the wind in the trees, the birds, and block out all thoughts. Now visualize three doors in you mind and look at the thoughts coming in the first door, these thoughts are from the adult you are, and they come with thoughts and ideas of fairness, honesty, compassion and caring, now look at the thoughts pouring in the second door,; they are bright thoughts from the happy child, thoughts of carefree play, laughter and fun. Now look at the third door, see the thoughts flowing in from the frightened child, thoughts of worry, of worthlessness, fear and fret, thoughts that depress and make you feel life isn’t worth living. Now go and slam that door shut . . and now slide the bolt home. Repeat this meditation until those negative thoughts disappear altogether, and eventually they will. I know. I was there.
    Author of ‘The Suicide Hour’ available on Amazon.

  5. Ronald Frederick Madigan says:

    I want to help!
    I have been trying to get my message across for some time with little success. When someone is suffering it is their ‘thought pattern’ that must be intercepted. It is their thoughts that must be disrupted, because it is their thoughts that are tricking them, leading them down a dangerous path. If you want to be a good singer your must practise, if you want to be a good thinker . . . the same applies!
    Ronald Frederick Madigan
    Author of The Suicide Hour, available on Amazon.

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