On Saturday, I walked among 1250 people in the Out of the Darkness Walk in Santa Monica. Together we raised more than than $130,000 that will go toward raising awareness and educating people about mental health-related issues and preventing suicide.
It was a tough space to be in. They gave out beads at registration. Colors that represented the walker’s tie to suicide such as “lost a friend,” “lost a child” or “supporting the cause,” etc. I felt like everywhere I turned, someone was wearing the face of someone far too young to die on their shirt. I saw too many arms go up when they asked everyone with the “lost a child” beads to raise them in the air. Suicide is the great equalizer, my friends. It does not know gender or race or age.
But I also saw smiles and hugs and strength in numbers. And while it was sad to see all of these people touched by such a sad, terrible thing, it was also empowering to see what we could do together to confront it.
And while it’s not a competition, I am still proud to brag that my team, which I co-captained with Alyssa, was the 8th highest fundraising team of 146 teams that joined in the day, raising nearly $3000 between us. I was the 16th highest individual fundraiser of 1250! None of that would have happened were it not for the support of some really incredible friends and family who contributed. THANK YOU. And thank you, Alyssa, Danielle, Naomi and Kelly for the… stroll. 😉
- Removing the stigmas attached to mental illness is imperative. I admire these celebrities who deal with it every day. And here are even more. If ever I wanted to shout “CELEBRITIES ARE PEOPLE, TOO!”….
- Glenn Close actually co-founded an organization whose goal is to “end the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness.” I am a big fan of Bring Change 2 Mind.
- Princes William and Harry and Kate Middleton are working with “Heads Together.”
- Amanda Seyfried just gave a rather serious and poignant interview about her own struggles.
- In a previous post of mine, you’ll find other ways to seek help such as the National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273 TALK (8255) (or dial 911!)
And we’re just getting started…. If you’d still like to donate, the site is still up and we appreciate it — visit this page.