On Saturday, Rochester and area residents will have a chance to join thousands of others across the nation in drawing attention to the fight for suicide prevention.

The annual Out of the Darkness Community Walk, hosted by the Minnesota Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, will be from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 1, at PrairieCare Medical Group, 5255 Members Parkway N.W., Rochester.

The walk supports the foundation's education and support program as well as its goal to reduce the annual U.S. rate of suicide 20 percent by 2025. Suicide is the 10th-leading cause of death in the U.S. and the eighth-leading cause of death in Minnesota.

“Suicide touches one in five American families," said Cassandra Linkenmeyer, Minnesota Area Director of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. "We hope that by walking we will draw attention to this issue and keep other families from experiencing a suicide loss. Our ultimate goal is to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide."

More than 550 walks are being held across the country, bringing together more than 300,000 walkers and raising millions for suicide prevention efforts.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

Local sponsors for the Rochester Out of the Darkness Walk include Olmsted Medical Center, PrairieCare Medical Group, Highland Meadows Counseling Center, Active PT, iHeart Radio and Haley Comfort Systems.

Editor's note: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline toll-free hotline is available 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255.