In a little more than 24 hours, I will be in New York City at the opening ceremony of The Out of the Darkness Overnight along with 2000 other walkers about to begin a 20 mile journey through the night.

I am sure that there will be no shortage of tears as we begin our journey – as many of these folks (including myself) have lost loved ones – children, parents, other family members, friends, or colleagues –  in such a devastating way. I am sure that people will bring pictures, mementos, and other items full of memories in order to both remember and honor those who lost their battle with depression. It will be incredibly moving and emotional – and I am looking forward to standing alongside so many as we gather our strength to walk through the darkness into dawn.

I wanted to thank all of you who donated to this cause that is so near and dear to my heart. Having lost my mother (she was 48 when she took her own life) and two childhood friends (who were brothers and took their own lives in their early teens), this is a cause that strikes at the very heart of me.

Moving forward it is my hope that we can raise awareness and get people talking about depression, mental illness, and suicide – topics that have been “taboo” up until now. No one likes to think about mental illness or depression, and certainly no one wants to talk about suicide, yet so many are affected by it.

It is time for us to open up the dialogue, get people engaged, and have the difficult conversations. It is time for us to get help for those who need it, to raise our voices, and increase awareness wherever and whenever possible.

If just one life is saved by this effort, then it will all be worth it. If you could save someone’s child, parent, loved one or friend – would you do it? Will you support this cause? I plan to continue supporting this cause in the future – with the hope that I can make a difference.

If you would still like to donate, you can do so by following this link:

http://www.theovernight.org/?fuseaction=extranet.personalpage&confirmid=10006779

I will make sure to chronicle my experience with photos, and follow up next week to tell you all about it.

A Heartfelt thanks to all who have supported me –

Susan