GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Hundreds gathered in Millennium Park on Sunday for the annual Grand Rapids Out of the Darkness Community Walk. The event brought people together to stress the importance of mental health and prevent suicide.

Check-in for the walk started at 11 a.m. and the walk started at 1 p.m. At the park, there were tables set up with different support groups and organizations, a beads table, different stations throughout the park-like yoga and stretching and a memory area. In that area, people were able to add a leaf with a name or picture of someone who had died.

The event was free and donations went towards different support organizations and governmental efforts to increase awareness of mental health needs. Organizers said they look forward to the walk every year and that it helps bring people together in a safe and supportive environment.

“We need a space for them to feel comfortable to be themselves and to be able to talk about their issues without feeling like they’re being judged. So if this can do even a little bit of that if this event can save one person, it’s absolutely worth it,” Eric Brefka, the marketing coordinator for the Grand Rapids Out of the Darkness Walk, said. 

The fundraising goal for this year’s walk was $75,000, as of Sunday afternoon, they have raised more than $50,000.