Cumming Suicide Prevention Fundraiser Started by Sister

CUMMING, GA – On September 4, 2018, Ali Norris’ life was changed forever after his older brother, Stephen, died by suicide.

“Stephen was the kind of brother every sister dreams of having,” Ali told Patch. “Patient, caring, supportive, protective and incredibly fun to be around. He was the smartest person I know. As his fraternity brother said, ‘he was just the best of us.'”

He attended the University of Georgia, where he studied accounting. He then graduated posthumously with honors in May 2019. Stephen had a passion for fishing and spent his summers working on charter fishing boats on Cape Cod, Ali said.

Two months later, Ali, along with his family and friends, participated in an American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Out of the Darkness community walk at Piedmont Park in Atlanta.

“Although this experience was extremely difficult, I felt less alone and supported by my community,” Ali said.

In the spring of 2021, a student at Central High School committed suicide. It was during her life event celebration that Ali knew she had to take action.

The following semester, Ali pitched the idea to his principal and administrative team to bring an Out of the Darkness campus walk to his school.

“They were incredibly supportive of the idea and asked that we include all eight high schools in Forsyth County,” she said. “Students and staff at every school in our county are struggling with anxiety, depression, isolation and suicidal ideation. It is crucial that our community supports all of our schools because mental illness does not make a difference. discrimination.”

The 2022 Campus Walk will take place at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 26 at Forsyth Central High School, 131 Almon C. Hill Dr.

On Tuesday, $44,430 was raised of the group’s $45,000 goal. This is thanks to the 270 participants who have registered so far.

“Every person present represents hope,” Ali said. “While I’m thrilled that we’re one of the best AFSP campus walks for fundraising in the country, I’m more determined to reach at least one person struggling with their mental health.”

Although staying in Forsyth County, Ali said the march was open to everyone.

“Community support is the most important aspect of this event,” she said. “It’s the feeling of coming together that will help individuals feel less alone on their mental health journey. I’m so grateful to live in a place like Forsyth County, and I’ve had incredible support from the from the people and businesses of this county.”

To join a team, register as an individual, or create your own team, go online.