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Annual dog friendly walk at Lake Baldwin raises awareness for suicide prevention

Event raises funds for American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

ORLANDO, Fla. – This weekend, hundreds will participate in an event in Baldwin Park to raise awareness and support suicide prevention.

The annual “Out of the Darkness” walk around Lake Baldwin is hosted by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. This year, Crossman Career Builders sponsored the walk that supports prevention through early detection of depression and other mental health conditions. Dogs are welcome to walk with their owners.

For John Crossman, of Career Builders, the event is personal. He will be walking in remembrance of his former pastor Isaac Hunter and friend James Raffenaud.

According to the latest mortality numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, deaths by suicide continued to rise in 2018 while most other causes of deaths fell. It’s the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.

When someone dies by suicide the people who know them can be directly impacted. Being a survivor or someone who survived a suicide attempt experience also increases one’s risk of suicide, according to the CDC.

“While we are raising money, it is far more important to me that folks come out and become aware of the numerous resources available to help them in their grief,” Crossman said.

The 2.6-mile walk raises money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The nonprofit provides resources for people affected by suicide. This year, local organizers hope to raise $15,000.

Similar events will happen around the country with more than 250,000 participants, according to the Foundation.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and at suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

Event information

Register for the event by Friday, Jan. 31 at noon, here. Day of registration opens at 7:30 a.m.

Where: Baldwin Park at 2420 Lakemont Ave. Orlando, Fla.

Program begins: 9 a.m.

Walk start time: 9:30 a.m.