People unite for Out of the Darkness Campus Walk

Posted at 12:25 PM, Apr 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-29 14:25:12-04

More than 600 people including volunteers attended the Out of the Darkness Campus Walk in East Helena on Saturday.

The Walk is a journey of remembrance, hope, support, and unity that focuses on the tough subject of suicide.

Sam Shepherd and his friends participated in the walk.

"I’d say hold on to hope. It’s a tough time. We have ups and downs throughout life, but in these dark times that you have, you have to look for that light," Shepherd said.

The group wore matching t-shirts with the words "Finding the Strength" in honor of Sam Shepherd’s sister Julie who passed away due to suicide.

"The back said, ‘Find the Strength for Julie,’ and I think every time I put it on, I grow a little stronger knowing that she would want me to keep going," Shaina Silvonen said.

For people contemplating suicide, Shepherd advised to not be afraid to reach out.

Roma Gleed and Natalie Christensen are part of "project reflection," an anti-bully suicide prevention group.

"It just makes my heart feel full that there are so many people here to support this cause," Gleed said. "Suicide awareness is something that has been so taboo and I just think it’s wonderful. There is so much more awareness and support around it."