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Fundraising Walk Slated for Santa Monica to Help Suicide Prevention
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Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica

By Lookout News

October 12, 2016 -- Santa Monica may hate the congestion for which it’s known lately, but on Saturday, the anticipated crowd will converge for a good, although heart-breaking, cause.

The Greater Los Angeles “Out of Darkness Community Walk” is slated for Santa Monica on Saturday, one of more than 375 of the fundraising walks taking place this year nationwide, officials from the local chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention said.

The three-mile walk starts at 9 a.m. on the 3rd Street Promenade at Wilshire Boulevard and ends at 11:30 a.m. Registration is at 7:45 a.m.

“We want to spread the message that it is possible to overcome suicidal thoughts and feelings and that there are many resources available to help those who are struggling to cope,” according to a note from organizers on the event’s website, at www.afsp.org/LAWalk.

A special “remembrance” tent is being created this year so those at the walk can create a "message of hope" for anyone touched by suicide or “just to provide strength to someone who might be struggling,” organizers said.

“Anyone can experience suicidal thoughts but there is help, and there is hope,” they said.

The fundraiser will help support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and its local and national education initiatives, as well as advocacy programs.

The foundation's goal is to the annual rate of suicide by 20 percent by 2025.

Suicide is nation’s the 10th leading cause of death, officials say.

The annual suicide rate is 12.93 per 100,000 individuals, according to the foundation.

It said men die by suicide 3.5 times more often than women. On average, there are 117 suicides per day in the U.S., and the rate is highest among those in middle age, particularly for white males.

Firearms account for almost half of the nation's suicides.

Organizers believe the event will attract a big crowd. For that reason, they are emphasizing use of the Metro Expo Rail Line to get to and from downtown Santa Monica. The Expo station downtown is at the corner of 4th Street and Colorado Avenue, just two blocks from 3rd Street or about a 10-minute walk, they said.

Parking for drivers is available at four parking structures (number one through four), although structures No. 1 and No.2 are the closest walk. The first 90 minutes are free, $1.25 for the next hour and $1.85 each additional 30 minutes. The daily maximum is $17.50.


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