Health & Wellness

Chatham Talks and then Walks for Suicide Awareness and Prevention at Cougar Field; Raises $70K

The start of the Out of the Darkness walk on Saturday at Cougar Field Credits: Glenn Clark
Chatham Township Mayor Curt Ritter addresses the crowd before the Out of the Darkness walk he spearheaded Credits: Glenn Clark
Chatham Borough, Chatham Township and Green Village firefighters came and raised the flag for the event Credits: Glenn Clark
Chatham Township Mayor Curt Ritter speaks at the Out of the Darkness Walk Credits: Glenn Clark
State Senator Richard Codey greets Kellie Doucette of Chatham alongside Stacey Ewald, candidate for Chatham Township Committee Credits: TAP Chatham
Salil Sheth, candidate for Chatham Township Committee, shows his beads to State Senator Richard Codey at the Out of the Darkness Walk Credits: TAP Chatham
Rory O'Moore played the bagpipes for the groups walking at the Out of the Darkness event on Saturday at Cougar Field Credits: TAP Chatham

CHATHAM, NJ - There was a special bead ceremony to raise awareness about suicide, where each person wore a certain colored bead in honor of someone who died by suicide on Saturday evening before the "Out of the Darkness" community walk at Cougar Field.

One person participating in the bead ceremony was different from the rest - he was a suicide survivor and he wore green beads to highlight his own struggle. That person was Borough of Chatham Council member Len Resto, who has been outspoken about the bullying he endured nearly 50 years ago, which led to an attempt on his own life.

He was one of the leading fund raisers for the second annual walk, organized by the Chatham Township Committee, who came out to walk and help raise $70,000 that will benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

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"It would have been nice to have these type of things in my day," Resto said. "I didn't know of any organization like this.

"I got a call from a friend this morning, whose son, at age 20, attempted suicide last night. We have to fight this and break the stigma. Teenagers are under so much pressure these days with bullying and being made fun of. When it was happening to me, I would go home and it was over. Now, when kids go home, it's on social media and they never escape it."

Borough Council member Len Resto compares the bullying that led him to attempt suicide to the pressures of teens today

Former governor and state senator Richard Codey speaks at Out or the Darkness Walk

Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen talks about suicide being the 10th-leading cause of death in America


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