by Allison Ostapowicz
Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high, and the dreams that you dreamed of once in a lullaby,” were the lyrics that kicked off the Out of the Darkness walk to prevent suicide. The walk took place Sept. 10 at Lewis and Clark Landing in Omaha.
The walk brought thousands of people together to raise awareness. The funds raised benefited the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, who invest in research, create educational programs, advocate for public policy and support survivors of suicide loss.
“The walk felt like a community, strangers coming together for suicide awareness,” Jolie Falcon, a sophomore who attended the walk, said.
Different colors brought a more personal attachment to the walk with each color representing something different. Wearing white represents the loss of a child, red for the loss of a spouse or partner, gold for the loss of a parent, orange for the loss of a sibling, purple for the loss of a relative or friend, silver for the loss of a first responder or member of the military, green for people who had personally struggled with suicidal thoughts, blue for people supporting the cause and teal for a friend or family member of someone who has struggled with and/or attempted suicide.
Each color was represented by hundreds of balloons that were released into the sky as the walk started and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” sung by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, played.
Sophomores Jolie Falcon and Maddie Warrick both attended the walk in support of family and friends who have suffered from depression and in support of everyone affected by suicide.
Informational booths lined Lewis and Clark Landing with endless packets, hotlines and tips to prevent suicide. Boys Town had a booth which provided “99 Coping Skills” to help deal with depression, along with a suicide hotline for kids and parents seeking help. One booth was a remembrance wall with photos of loved ones lost to suicide.
“I’m so happy I went to the walk and showed my support, I think this cause and issue should be talked about more and I definitely want to be affiliated more,” Falcon said. “It was a very touching experience and I think everyone should support and get educated on this topic,” agreed Warrick.
BE. THE. VOICE. Help to be the generation that ends suicide. If you suspect someone you know is considering suicide call 1-800-448-3000 for help.