First Annual Fort Bend Out of the Darkness Walk Brings Awareness to Mental Health

Stephanie Silvia, Cori Reese, Brian Mooreman and Pimal Patel.

Stephanie Silvia, Cori Reese, Brian Mooreman and Pimal Patel.

Over 1,000 Fort Bend residents were on site to participate in the inaugural Fort Bend Out of the Darkness community walk on Saturday, September 26th at Oyster Creek Park in Sugar Land. Local residents of Fort Bend County helped raise over $80,000 to help The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) raise awareness and funds to help local programs.

“It’s truly inspirational to witness this community bind together to support such a noble cause. To say that this group exceeded expectations would not do justice. We challenged the Fort Bend community to raise $25,000, and do you know what they did? They raised $80,000. We challenged them to bring 500 people out, and they brought over 1,000. There are no two ways about it. This event was incredible,” said event organizer Pimal Patel.

“Despite the troubling statistics, an important goal of the walk is to stress that suicide can be prevented. The walk is also a call to action that more must be done to prevent suicide, nationally and in communities across the country,” said Robert Gebbia, executive director of the foundation.

The emphasis of this walk was to gather organizers and walkers to directly combat a problem that has hit so many close to home. According to AFSP, close to 700,000 people will make a suicide attempt requiring medical care, and more than 38,000 will die by suicide in the United States every year.