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As part of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Coos County Out of the Darkness Walks, I will be walking on Sept. 7 at Mingus Park to draw attention to the importance of suicide prevention. I won’t be walking alone. I will be joined by many who share my dedication.

Last year, over 550 Out of the Darkness Walks took place in communities and on campuses across the United States, attended by a quarter of a million dedicated people who share my passion. Our movement is growing.

As a mental health provider, it is heartbreaking to me to live in a county with one of the highest suicide rates in Oregon. Whether you are a suicide survivor who has lost a friend or family member to suicide, someone who struggles with suicidal thoughts yourself or just a member of Coos County who wants to make a difference, this walk needs your participation and support.

Our goal is to spread awareness of what is currently the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S., and let others know they are not alone. Please help us ensure that mental health is looked upon in equal importance to physical health, and continue to bring hope to those affected by suicide. Join me in this walk. We need you.

Lance Nelson

North Bend

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