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The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention-Missouri Chapter will host a community walk in October as part of a nationwide push to raise money for suicide prevention.

"Out of the Darkness" walks will happen across the United States to raise money for AFSP, said Alexis Kerman, co-chair of the Jefferson City walk. Their mission is to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide, she said.

The goal of the walk is to raise $5,000.

Originally planned as an in-person walk, it has changed to an "experience." People are encouraged to join the virtual event in their own communities and neighborhoods. The event is scheduled 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 17.

"The money goes toward different strategies, such as funding scientific research, offering educational programs for professionals, educating the public about mood disorders and suicide prevention, promoting policies and legislation, and providing programs and resources for survivors of suicide," Kerman said.

Kerman and Jess Mosier, co-chairs of the local event, have both experienced the effects of suicide, she said, "and know that there is a need to educate and bring more light to suicide prevention in our area."

The walk organizers are working closely with In a Flash, a local nonprofit that strives to prevent suicide through education and heightened awareness while uniting survivors and providing support to those affected by suicide in local communities, Kerman said.

"This is a project we have decided to take on because we see a need in our community," Kerman said.

The walk is a perfect way for people who have struggled with thoughts of suicide to feel closer to family and friends, she said.

For more information on the walk, visit facebook.com/events/328488138167663.

"This walk, even virtually, will allow people to walk for those they have lost to suicide, for themselves, for a family member or for a friend," Kerman said. "Advocacy efforts help all of Missouri as we come together in our communities to talk for the same cause."

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