I am proud to announce that I am part of the organizing committee for this walk. Our goal is to raise awareness about mental health and suicide in order to help lessen the stigma. As some of you may know, mental health awareness is a cause very close to my heart due in part to my own personal struggles with anxiety, as well as, my experience as a healthcare worker, witnessing firsthand the devastating effects brought on by a lack of support for those with mental illness over the years.
Every year, across the United States, there is a walk that takes place called the “Out of the Darkness” walk. Our chairperson, Isabel Justo Kahn’s aim was to bring this walk to Montreal. She facilitates suicide loss groups both locally (in Montreal), as well as, in the US and she is greatly saddened by the expanding numbers, particularly over this past year. This pandemic seems to have caused many indirect deaths due to isolation and lack of support, driving the rate of suicide attempts and deaths to record highs.
Our “Out of the Darkness” walk would require only that people spread the word and, if able, attend the short walk in solidarity with people struggling with any mental health issues and/or suicide loss survivors, thereby sending a message that they are not alone. Now more than ever, we need to come together to show our support.
The walk is scheduled to take place September 11th, 2021 (also known as Suicide Awareness Month) at 1:00 pm ET on Mount Royal, starting at the Sir Georges-Etienne Cartier Monument (Park Ave). We would love if you could join us and with your support, we hope to be able to make this an annual event going forward.