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Out of the Darkness Community Walk set Oct. 13 in Nisswa

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Volunteers from Nisswa are joining the quarter of a million people who are walking in towns across the United States to draw attention to the fight for suicide prevention with the second annual Nisswa Out of the Darkness Community Walk, hosted by the Greater Minnesota Chapter, at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, at The Pines at Grand View Lodge.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, yet suicide can be prevented, organizers said in a news release. This walk supports the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's education and support programs and its goal to reduce the annual U.S. rate of suicide 20 percent by the year 2025.

"Suicide touches one in five American families," said Jeri Borgwarth, volunteer Nisswa walk chair of the Greater Minnesota Chapter. "We hope that by walking we will draw attention to this issue and keep other families from experiencing a suicide loss. Our ultimate goal is to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide."

The Nisswa Out of the Darkness Community Walk is one of more than 550 Out of the Darkness

Overnight, Community and Campus Walks being held nationwide this year. The walks are expected to unite more than 300,000 walkers and raise millions of dollars for suicide prevention efforts.

Last year, the walks raised more than $21 million for suicide prevention. The Nisswa Walk raised more than $15,000 and had 160 participants in 2017.

"These walks are about turning hope into action," Robert Gebbia of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention said. "The research has shown us how to fight suicide, and if we keep up the fight, the science is only going to get better and our culture will get smarter about mental health. With the efforts of our courageous volunteers, and a real investment from our nation's leaders, we hope to significantly reduce the suicide rate in the United States."

Local sponsors for the Nisswa walk include Brenny Funeral Home, Deerwood Bank, Mill Avenue Holiday, Nystrom and Associates and Northern Psychiatric Associates.