Hundreds participate in Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk for suicide prevention

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NEW YORK — More than 1,000 people walked the streets of Manhattan from late Saturday night until early Sunday morning to help stop suicide.

It was for the Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk, and CBS2’s own Cindy Hsu helped kick it off at the Intrepid on the West Side along with her daughter, Rosie, and members of our CBS family.

Everything started Saturday evening. Hundreds came together to support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Honor beads around participants’ necks were different colors, signifying how they’ve been affected by suicide. Some lost a parent or child or know someone who’s struggling with mental illness.

RELATED: Breaking The Stigma: You Are Not Alone

Hsu says she got a second chance.

“Seven years ago, I attempted suicide. I was suffering from depression and I got the warped idea that my family would be better off without me. Of course, that wasn’t true, and fortunately, I lived,” she said.

RESOURCES AND ASSISTANCE

• 24/7 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, or call 1-800-273-TALK• Text TALK to 741-741 to text with a trained crisis counselor for free

• Suicide Prevention Hotline: (877) 727-4747• Suicide Prevention Live Chat

• American Foundation For Suicide Prevention• Mental Health Conversation Guides

• NAMI (National Alliance on Mental illness) Helpline: (800) 950-6264

• American Psychological Association (APA): (800) 374-2721

• NYC Well: Text, Talk And Chat

• Board of Behavioral Sciences

“I’m walking for my twin brother, Michael,” walker Isabella O’Keefe said.

“I’m walking for my sister Stephanie lost 40 years ago, my niece Emily lost eight years ago,” walker Jere Sirkis said.

Dionne Monsanto lost her 15-year-old daughter, Siwe, and fights to save everyone, especially children.

“Because it is the second leading cause of death for young people. If we want to have a future, we’ve got to save our young people, so it’s another way to save our future,” Monsanto said.

READ MORE: Mental health experts offer advice on how to find help for children, teens

Participants started off together around 8:30 p.m., walking a 17-mile route all around Manhattan, from the West Side to East Side to Lower Manhattan.

“What does it feel like to be at this walk with so many people?” Hsu asked walker Kit Turner.

“It’s incredible. It’s the most inspiring thing, and plus having a tremendous support group with me here, too,” Turner said.

“Makes you feel that you are part of something bigger, that there’s a lot of other people in the same boat and there’s a lot of people trying to do something about this,” participant Christian O’Keefe said.

It was a celebration every time the group hit a mile marker, and after eight hours of walking, they finally finished at 4:30 Sunday morning.

It was a long night, but they walked together to help save lives.

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