Opinion | Walk for mental health

Raising awareness for mental health problems is one of the most impactful ways to help those affected.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is sponsoring its third annual 5K Out of the Darkness Walk in April, and it will take place here at Butler University.
Students should participate in this walk to make mental health a more prominent issue on campus.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death in college-aged people. Of the people who commit suicide, “90 percent…have a diagnosable and treatable psychiatric disorder at the time of their death,” according to the AFSP website.
Events like the Out of the Darkness Walk are great for raising awareness. They spark conversation about how we can support our fellow students. Talking about mental health with a friend who you are worried about may seem difficult or awkward, but reaching out a hand could save a life.
With the many major shootings in the news recently, society has been focusing on gun control. However, what we should really be talking about is mental health. In order to prevent mass violence, we should talk about how to get help for those who need it.
Mental health can be a taboo subject for some people. We need to remove the stigma attached to  depression and make it something everyone talks about. If even one person had reached out to recent school shooters, they may not have chosen to act as they did.
Untreated depression or other disorders can be dangerous. Nobody deserves to suffer without help or support from their friends.
The Out of the Darkness Walk  saw significant growth between its first and second years.
The walk raised $1,500 in 2011 and $5,200 in 2012, said senior Kim Kraska of To Write Love on Her Arms, which sponsors the event.
The walk will take place from 2-4 p.m. April 21. The goal is to raise $7,000 this year, but students are encouraged to participate whether or not they donate. The main goal is to raise awareness and spark conversation.
During the opening ceremonies, Butler students share stories of losing loved ones to suicide. The event is very personal and shows the seriousness of mental health awareness.
Students should support the Out of the Darkness Walk to make sure all of Butler’s students know that there is hope. If the movement helps even one student, it will be worth the effort.

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