A non-profit organization based in Prince Albert is walking in cities and towns throughout the province this summer to raise suicide awareness.
The Walking out of Darkness Project was founded by Veronique McCallum to give hope and inspiration to those struggling with mental illness.
McCallum started the organization last year, holding the first walk in Pelican Narrows a month after her daughter died as a result of a suicide.
“I lost my daughter to suicide last year on June 10, and I had to do something,” she said. “I had to do something because I didn’t see anyone else doing anything and I started with the walk one month after I lost her on July 10. I had support and I needed some sort of closure.”
McCallum said she hopes people that walk with them or see them walking feel hope and inspiration.
“Inspiration and a little bit of hope, and that there is somebody out there that cares. We would like them to reach out to us, but we do talk to parents, and young ladies come to us and talk to us too sometimes. We try to help everyone as we walk, and we smudge, and we pray.”
McCallum said the organization is familiar with the 2014 10 Year Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan for Saskatchewan and she said it believes the province needs to change its approach.
“We’ve been looking at the Saskatchewan strategy that was brought out in 2014. And it’s not working. It’s not working what they have in there and it hasn’t worked for the past six years and it’s not going to work for the next four years. So, they need to change it right away.”
The organization’s next walks will be held in Deschambault Lake on Thursday and then Denare Beach on Friday.
After that, it will host walks in Sandy Bay and Southend in August.
(PHOTO: Photo courtesy Walking out of Darkness Facebook page.)