NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - More than 500 people put on team t-shirts and laced up their tennis shoes to raise money and awareness for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Event organizer and chair of the Out of the Darkness walk, Regina Creech, said this year’s event was one of the largest yet.
“It gives us a sense of joy to know that people are connecting to the resources that they need,” Creech said. “There is help out there, just reach out for the help and people are there for them.”
The Charleston area Out of the Darkness walk is just one of more than 550 local walks happening throughout the country this year.
Among those walking was Kelly Bistline, who lost her 16-year-old son to suicide in June.
“You know you hear the term suicide, but you never think it’s going to happen to you,” Bistline said. “It’s sad that all these people are out here, you know, and that all these people have known someone or have lost someone to this.”
For many, despite loss, the walk brought hope in opening new discussions surrounding mental health.
“What we really want to do is create a culture that’s smart about mental health and that it’s not unlike any other type of chronic disease,” Creech said.
The organization has a fundraising goal of $45,000 and donations will be accepted through the end of the year on their website.