HEALTHY MIND MATTERS

Walk for suicide prevention raises nearly $250,000

Sep 11, 2021, 9:30 PM | Updated: 11:39 pm

WEST JORDAN, Utah – More than 3,000 Utahns met in West Jordan Saturday morning to raise awareness about suicide, the tenth leading cause of death in the United States.

The annual “Walk out of the Darkness” event, sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, brought out all kinds of people, another testament that suicide affects people in all walks of life.

The message was one of hope, connection and community.

Co-founder Cassidy Priest said the gathering was for those who have lost a loved one or for anyone who has struggled with thoughts or attempts at suicide.

“It’s a day of healing, it’s a day of learning, it’s a day of connection,” said Priest, who is a volunteer and has headed up this program for the past two years.

The event is organized and run by mostly volunteers – which leaves all money to programs to help those impacted by suicide.

Michael Todd was stationed at the booth with the beads. They look like something you’d find at Mardi Gras, but each color has a special meaning.

He wore several colors around his neck Saturday.

Todd lost his father to suicide as a teenager. Since then, he’s faced his own demons, including depression.

“I wish this was here when my dad died,” said Todd. “None of this was possible. I had nowhere to go and was alone.”

A community like the one that gathered Saturday would have changed his life. That’s why he’s here – to heal by helping others.

He said he also relies on this community to help him through his darkest days.

“It’s sometimes a daily battle, sometimes an hourly battle,” said an emotional Todd as he described his struggles. “But I know there’s hope and I keep moving forward as much as I can.”

Laura Nydegger talked to KSL-TV while surrounded by friends and family.

She brought her daughter, who has lost her father and an uncle to suicide.

“It’s amazing,” said Nydegger. “It brings so many emotions up, and it’s great to see all of the support we have and all the help that’s out there for those that are suffering.”

Priest hopes those who need the resources will get them.

“There is hope, there is support, there is a whole community that is here to support you,” she said.

If you or someone you know needs help, you can call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Healthy Mind Matters

...
Tamara Vaifanua

Salt Lake Co. offers workshop for teens struggling with body image

For the first time, Salt Lake County Youth Services is offering a free workshop for teens who struggle with body image issues.
11 days ago
(KSL TV)...
Matt Rascon

KSL+ One man’s heart-shaped mission to prevent suicide

Mental health challenges continue across the state. This week, the story of one man’s mission to prevent suicide with reminders that people matter.
18 days ago
...
Ayanna Likens

You can call or text new mental health resource (988)

The nation’s newest mental health resource isn’t just a phone call service – you can text it, too.
1 month ago
The number for the national suicide prevention hotline, 988....
Ayanna Likens

Utah’s connection to a national 3-digit suicide prevention hotline

It will soon be easier than ever to connect with mental health professionals across the country during a crisis as the three-digit phone number, 988, launches this Saturday.
1 month ago
Posters at the Department of Health and Human Services offers advice on preventing and getting over...
Jed Boal

How community postvention tool kit helps communities after a suicide

How our communities respond after a suicide death matters and that's why the Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition created an online tool kit to help.
1 month ago
LGBTQ teens at an Encircle activity....
Ashley Moser, KSL TV

Parents’ support key to mental health among LGBTQ+ youth, experts say

Nearly 20 percent of adults in the U.S. live with a mental health condition. In the LGBTQ+ community, that number is three times higher. Experts say family support is crucial to an adolescents’ mental health.
2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
cyber security through multi factor authentication setup...
Les Olson IT

How multi factor authentication setup helps companies stay safe

Multi factor authentication (MFA) setup is an important security measure that every company should implement for their workers. It’s also wise to install it for your personal and home accounts.
...
Lighting Design

Check out these stunning lamps with stained glass shades

Lamps with stained glass shades are statement pieces that are more than simply aesthetic. They also meet a functional requirement: to light up a room.
Address Bar of internet browser shows internet access...
AARP Utah

Utah voters 50+ support increased access to Internet

The AARP surveyed Utah voters aged 50 plus about internet access and if they support the expansion of broadband, especially in rural areas currently lacking it.
Walk for suicide prevention raises nearly $250,000