Tuesday, May 10, 2011

"Out of the Darkness Overnight" on June 4

On June 4th I'll be participating in the Out of the Darkness Overnight, a very important fundraiser for suicide prevention & awareness. I'll be joining over 1,000 people to walk 18 miles through the night in NYC, with donations benefiting the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. AFSP is at the forefront of research, education and prevention initiatives designed to reduce loss of life from suicide. I would appreciate any support that you give me for this worthwhile cause.

"Participating in the Overnight last year was an incredibly moving experience which I'm grateful to have shared with so many others who lost a loved one(s) to suicide," my friend, singer Kehau Kahananui reveals. "I lost my beloved older sister Sharon to suicide in January 2009. It came as a complete shock to all who knew her. Despite continuing to be the vibrant, fun, loving woman we knew, she had fallen into a dangerous depression, one which she hid all too well from her family and friends. I walk to honor my sister's incredible & loving life, to support new prevention initiatives that will save lives and to end the stigma that surrounds mental illnesses & suicide. I walk so that others will not have to."

Consider these facts:
- Every day, approximately 90 Americans take their own life.
- There are more than 34,000 lives lost to suicide each year in the U.S. and over one million worldwide
In the U.S.:
- Suicide is the 5th leading cause of death among those 5-14 years old, 3rd leading for those 15-24 years old, 4th leading for those 18-65 years old, and currently suicide is the 11th overall leading cause of death in the United States.
- Ninety percent of all people who die by suicide have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder at the time of their death.
- Over 60 percent of all people who die by suicide suffer from major depression.
- More Americans suffer from depression than coronary heart disease (17 million), cancer (12 million) and HIV/AIDS (1 million).

Sadly, despite these grim statistics, suicide prevention is vastly under-funded. Depression is the leading cause of suicide, but the good news is that 80-90 percent of people respond positively to treatments. Help me to help others by making a tax-deductible contribution. You can visit Kehau's fundraising page to make a donation:

Please do what you can to help this important work, no donation is too small & all are appreciated! This a great organization that saves lives. I'd appreciate you passing this message along to others you think might be interested in this cause.

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