Out of the Darkness Walk - Indianapolis 2014

Tomorrow is the AFSP Out of the Darkeness Walk in Indianapolis. Please consider joining us downtown or supporting a walker as we raise funds for survivor support, research on depression/depressive illnesses, and heightened awareness of suicide. For more information or to donate, please visit www.afsp.org

The following is a speech that has been delivered at community walks such as the one that will take place tomorrow. 

In 1965, a little American rock band from Los Angeles, the Byrds, released what would be their greatest hit, "Turn". 

"Turn" is a song based on ancient wisdom literature. Its lyrics struck a chord with audiences across the nation as the United States found itself deep in a season of conflict and change. Within the struggle, the Byrds sang, 
"To everything
There is a season
And a time to every purpose under heaven...
A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep
To everything
There is a season
And a time to every purpose under heaven."

Today, we have gathered in this specific season at this specific time and this specific place for a specific purpose. Perhaps this is your season of loss; perhaps it is a season of grief; perhaps it is a season of anger; or perhaps this is a season of a new resolve to make a difference. To everything, there is a season. We are thankful that you are here in this season, your season, our season, to be with all of those gathered here to make a difference - together we say it is time, time for greater impact.

You have come today in this season and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention exists in this time because suicide exists. 
We know the statistics... 
Every 14.2 minutes someone in the United States dies by suicide. 
Nearly 1,000,000 people make a suicide attempt every year.

We are all survivors. That is why we are he
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, AFSP, exists to support you and all survivors. 
AFSP exists to provide resources and help to those who are contemplating suicide. 
AFSP exists to empower people like you and me to shatter the silence around mood disorders and suicide. 
AFSP exists in this time, and is committed with you to make this the time for greater impact. 

Today is the time…
We all have come here together in this season because we have made a choice that 
This may be our first step or perhaps it is our next in a life full of steps as we walk to SUPPORT, EDUCATE and ADVOCATE for survivors and those with depression or depressive disorders. 
This SEASON, this TIME can change everything for one person; for one survivor.
It is the Power of this ONE STEP that gives others the courage to join in the movement to say that TODAY IS THE TIME and ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, IT IS NOT TOO LATE. 

Today is time, time for greater impact…
You have decided to take the time to make a difference in this battle.
Look around you at the faces of those who have decided to walk with you saying this is the season, this is the time...

It is TIME for this collection of people to make a difference for ONE PERSON…
And ONE person can make a difference in this battle.
Because of ONE person/ONE survivor, the White House Policy on condolence letters to families of soldiers that die by suicide was set in motion to be changed. Because of a tenacious and passionate father who wouldn't take no for an answer, the policy was changed in July 2011. Now every family of soldier that dies, no matter how or why, receives a letter from their government, from their president, expressing their appreciation for their loved one's service to the United States and offer the  condolences of their government. 

It is TIME and ONE PERSON can make a difference in this battle...
Because of one person/one survivor, the Indiana Chapter of AFSP was started. After she lost her son, Kurt, Lisa Brattain decided that something must happen. Kurt's family and many of his friends are here today.  Together they decided that enough was enough and something had to change. We are here because this tenacious and passionate mother and her family wouldn’t take no for an answer. Walls have been knocked down and bridges have been built and strides have been made and here we are today.

These are only two stories of literally hundreds represented by all of you that have been set in motion by the Power of ONE PERSON/ONE SURVIVOR who was willing to take the time to promote understanding and change. 

If ONE person/ONE survivor, in their healing process, finds that they feel led to be a part of promoting change, saying now is the time for GREATER impact, your AFSP local walk committee and Indiana Chapter welcomes all volunteers!
There is a time for everything. Today is about the time for greater impact…

In a few moments we are all going to take our first step together in this walk to raise awareness, to shatter the silence, to walk out of the darkness together. 
May this be your first step of many toward greater impact.

Maybe you will find that it is time to seek out the support and encouragement you need. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention wants you to know you aren’t alone. We can provide support and resources, and encouragement to all survivors as well as those living with a depressive illness who aren't sure where they fit. This can be your community. Come and talk with us. This may be your time.

Perhaps it is time to help AFSP with its goal to get “The Truth About Suicide” and "More Than Sad," our awareness DVDs and programs about depression and depressive disorders among college students and high school students, on every campus in the state, the funds we raise help make this possible for free (www.morethansad.org). We need your help.

Maybe this is the time for you to make a greater impact by joining a support group or going to a facilitators training event in Indianapolis to promote more suicide loss specific support groups within the state of Indiana.  

Maybe the season is coming for you to join in on the International Survivors of Suicide Day in November.  

There is a time to every purpose.  This is the time for greater impact.
Today is the time because of OUR SHARED STRUGGLE 
We have all decided to take the TIME in this SEASON to MAKE A DIFFERENCE. 
We have all decided to be the ONE PERSON - ONE AMONG THE MANY.
We have all decided that now is the time to take this ONE STEP.

When it comes to suicide, time is of the essence. And today is the time... 

The song "Turn" by the Byrds ends...
To everything
There is a season
And a time to every purpose under heaven.
A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace, I swear it's not too late!



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