Annual walk raises awareness for mental health
September 14, 2019 06:16 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— About 15,000 people took part in the annual Albuquerque Out of the Darkness Walk to Fight Suicide at the New Mexico Veterans Memorial Saturday morning.
“She was so full of life, full of energy,” said walk participant Dominique Garcia.
Garcia and her family walked for her sister Briana Martinez. Martinez died by suicide four years ago.
"She would get bullied a lot. There’s really no tolerance for bullying and this is what this walk is for—for people that feel like they are getting bullied or they have no hope and no resources,’ Garcia said. “This is a place where they can come and have resources. People show the love and show ways to deal and cope with mental illness.”
Garcia’s friend Tay Salazar had a message for anyone out there who is struggling with suicidal thoughts.
“Make sure you guys do get help because there is a lot of help out there,” Salazar said. “I used to struggle and now I work in the health field and help people so don’t give up, just keep fighting.”
Bee Chavez with the New Mexico Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention organized the walk and said it’s important to raise awareness.
“We also raise funds to help support our education and advocacy,” Chavez said. “Our peer to peer support groups that we run and just help survivors get over the grief.”
Chavez said the walk also helps break down the stigma surrounding suicide and mental health.
“I think the stigma around suicide really affects families and maybe they don't feel comfortable talking about it so here they can say either I’m struggling or I lost somebody, and so it's just and open space for them to say it and tell their story because their story does matter,” she said.
For those struggling with thoughts of suicide and other emotional concerns, call the New Mexico Crisis and Access Line 1-(855)-662- 7474.
Updated: September 14, 2019 06:16 PM
Created: September 14, 2019 05:31 PM
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