BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -It’s been three years since Allen “Bubba” Randall lost his son to suicide. It was a loss as shocking and sudden as a car wreck, and left Randall’s family feeling just as injured.
"Last thing we did, which was nothing out of the ordinary, like we always did, he hugged me and said, 'I love you pops.' I said, 'I love you too son,' and he got in his car and drove away. That was the last time I saw him," said Randall.
In the wake of that loss, Randall set out on a mission to keep others from that same pain and joined the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, an advocacy and education group with a goal to reduce the annual national suicide rate 20% by 2025.
Part of that mission and goal is an annual walk held in all 50 states that raises money for the foundation’s mission which includes programs and resources for survivors of suicide loss and people at risk. Randall is one of the organizers for the Greater Baton Rouge Out of Darkness Walk, and one of its biggest supporters.
- Out of Darkness Walk Date: 10/20/2018
- Walk Location: Pennington Biomedical Research Center - Baton Rouge, LA
- Check-in/Registration Time: 9:00 am
- Walk Begins: 10:30 am
- Walk Ends: 1:00 pm
- More information or to register online: https://bit.ly/2PvwZuE
Randall says the walk not only helps to bring conversations about suicide into the light, it also provides a comfort for families and loved ones who have lost someone to suicide.
“You are not alone. We have all been there,” said Randall.
The Out of The Darkness Walk is scheduled for October 20, 2018. This year’s event will be held in a new location at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center on Perkins Road in Baton Rouge.
Online registration closes at noon the Friday before the walk. However, anyone who would like to participate can register in person at the walk from the time check-in begins until the walk starts. Registration is free and open to the public. Walk donations are accepted until December 31st.
If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide or other moments of crisis, there are several resources for help:
- The Phone 24 hour crisis hotline: (225) 924-3900.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “TALK” to 741741