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AFSP Out of the Darkness Walk

Out of the Darkness Walk | Paradigm Malibu

The second leading cause of death amongst teens is suicide, however most of the disorders that may underly a teen to take his or her life are treatable.

Paradigm’s treatment centers are committed to the prevention of teen suicide through early intervention, in-stay rehabilitation and long-term psychiatric management.  Paradigm is also supportive of other groups that work to support advancements in lowering suicide fatalities.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is the leading nonprofit organization working to bring public awareness to the issue.  Due to the lack of government funding for this prominent cause of death, fundraising efforts like those sponsored by the AFSP are a critical component to life saving destigmatization efforts.  Throughout the year, the AFSP holds inspirational Out of the Darkness fundraising walks. These events are designed to raise awareness for suicide prevention, promote the treatability of those disorders that cause one to underpin an adolescent taking his or her own life, and offering a time to heal for those personally impacted by a tragic loss of life.

Paradigm’s staff works diligently to remedy disorders that lead teens to suicidal ideation every single day.  For some staff members, loss by suicide has a deeply personal impact. Chief Financial Officer Emily Fragakis knows the ravaging effects of a self-inflicted death on surviving family members.  She lost her father to suicide when she was fifteen years old:  Emily also lost her brother-in-law in the same manner in March of this year.  These losses prompted Emily to become proactive in her own personal quest to eradicate death by suicide.

On June 8, 2019, Emily participated AFSP’s Out of the Darkness walk in San Francisco. When asked why she choose to participate in the 18-mile journey during the hours from sunset to sunrise, Emily stated, “I feel compelled to help bring the light to mental illness and I wanted to do my part by raising money for this walk. It helps fund important research, resources for those struggling with mental illness, and provides a community for those impacted by suicide.  I also made a point to be open to others about how I’ve been impacted by suicide as I campaigned for the walk because it’s a topic not everyone is always willing to discuss. And I think it’s important to change that.”

Emily walked with thousands of other individuals – all of whom had been affected by either the loss of a loved one or suicidal ideation. The walk is an integral part of the healing process as it provides a safe forum for people to express their feelings while working toward a future in which suicidal ideation is treated before loss of life occurs.

When asked about her experience at the walk, Emily stated, “I found the walk to be very healing and it was powerful to be surrounded by so many people who have been touched by suicide.  The most moving part of the walk for me was meeting and talking with people who were survivors of suicide themselves.  I admired their courage to be a part of the walk and to continue to fight through the battles they are working on overcoming every day.”

The AFSP will be hosting additional Out of the Darkness walks throughout California beginning September 7, 2019. For more information regarding these walks, please visit https://afsp.donordrive.com.


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