Family raise $20,000 during charity walk
The family of a young woman who took her own life has raised more than $20,000 for suicide prevention.
Chris Gibbons and Susan Wakefield, parents of Jessica Gibbons, took part in the 16.7-mile Out of Darkness Walk in Philadelphia last month.
Mr Gibbons said: “It was physically and emotionally draining but at the same time uplifting and inspirational to be with so many people who have shared a similar experience and survived as well as those struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts but determined to fight them.
“For me the most moving part was crossing the finish line and seeing the hundreds of luminaria on the Museum Steps commemorating all the loved ones who had been lost to suicide.
“It really brought home the devastating impact suicides have on entire families and communities.”
Mr Gibbons and Ms Wakefield, who made up the Walking with Jessica team, set off at 8pm on June 16 and crossed the finish line at 3am on June 17.
Almost 2,000 people took part in the walk and raised more than $2 million for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Mr Gibbons explained that proceeds would help those affected by suicide and mental health conditions by supporting research, advocacy, survivor resources, education, and awareness programmes.
He said: “Here in Bermuda we are only just beginning the drive to improve resources, education and awareness and we rely on organisations like AFSP for ideas, guidance and inspiration.
“AFSP has set a bold goal to reduce the suicide rate 20 per cent by the year 2025, and I’m proud to be part of that mission.”
Jessica took her own life in 2016 and Mr Gibbons later helped found the support group Losing Someone by Suicide to assist others bereaved by suicide.
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