Thank you for your generous gift in honor of my beautiful brother, Ian Prout.
All donations are 100% tax deductible and benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), funding research, education, advocacy, and support for those affected by suicide. Thanks to your generosity, my parents and I have raised over $51,000 to date.
I join over 250,000 people around the country and walk every year in the Burlington, Vermont Out of the Darkness Walk, one of hundreds of walks in all 50 states that benefits the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (www.afsp.org). Together, beginning by simply talking about suicide, it is our mission to end the epidemic that is suicide.
I didn't walk in 2020 due to the pandemic but we continue to raise funds to benefit the Ian Prout Forever Fund even though I didn't create a separate walk fund in 2020 (and no longer create separate walk funds as all funds to both my past annual walk funds and the Ian Prout Forever all benefit AFSP and all count toward the cumulative we have raised in Ian's name). I now just have the one Ian Prout Forever in perpetuity fund.
Here is an update from 2021 of what I have been doing to advance mental health awareness and suicide prevention:
This is a clip from our walk in September 2019: https://www.mynbc5.com/amp/article/dozens-walk-in-burlington-to-bring-attention-to-suicide-prevention/29376158
Our third Out of the Darkness Walk was on 9/29/18. I was very proud of Ian's niece, my at the time 10 year old daughter Elle, who spoke in front of everyone in attendance and presented this amazing poster
on the importance of mental health awareness and reaching out with kindness to anyone we meet-- as you never know who is suffering or what someone may be facing on the inside.
Our second Out of the Darkness walk in September 2017 was beautiful and healing and an interview with one of the two TV stations there covering our efforts is here:
Here is a clip from our first Out of the Darkness walk which took place in Burlington, Vermont on October 2, 2016. I was honored to have been asked to speak at this event and a news clip from that day is here: http://www.mynbc5.com/article/hundreds-hit-the-pavement-for-suicide-prevention-awareness/4395028
I also wrote this piece for Aerie and am hopeful that mental health awareness and suicide prevention have a huge increased presence in our global society. Please feel free to post/share/spread the word of HOPE:
I also had the privilege to write an essay entitled, First Person: For Ian that was featured in the Deerfield Magazine. You can read it here beginning on page 96.
This fund, the Ian Prout Forever Memorial Fund, will exist in perpetuity to honor my amazing brother and dearest friend who ended his life on April 9th, 2016. I am working to celebrate all of the good that Ian stood for, to erase the stigma around suicide, and to bring light to those who are suffering- many of whom are suffering so silently, as was the case with Ian- and to their families.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support. AFSP is doing such good work and supporting my efforts in Ian's name means a great deal to all of us. You are helping us to ensure that Ian's pain was not in vain. Doing all we can to raise awareness about suicide and to provide care for so many in need is a beautiful way to honor Ian today and in the years to come. Heartfelt thanks for your love and support and for offering hope to those in need.
We are filled with endless gratitude to God for sharing such an incredible person with us. I share this sentiment in my eulogy which I invite you to watch here and in this poem I wrote, below, a few days after Ian passed into the other realm.
United for a gentler future with more understanding and awareness and hope for every person in need. If you would like to reach out to me to learn more about other areas of my suicide awareness efforts or simply to share a story about Ian, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 802.598.9428. Thank you, again, and love and light to all.
Near the river,
Through the deep woods,
I feel your soul,
And it is good.
A flash through the air,
I look for your spirit,
And it is there.
A vibrant sun beaming,
A single bird in swift flight,
These bring your smile
In crystal clear sight.
Your beauty, your goodness,
Your kindness beyond measure,
Now for you, dearest friend,
Only peace, only pleasure.
Through billions of years
And infinite stars,
You walked with us together,
How blessed we all are!
Do not have a fear,
Please always know,
Wherever our hearts wander,
You, too, will go.
The love you gave endlessly
We return back to you,
With profound thanks for a soul,
Perfect sky, dazzling blue.
I will walk forward,
I will have no fear.
Our love is eternal.
You are right here.
-APM for IUP
Dear Family and Friends,
Below is my 5 minute Ignite talk (February 2019).
Thank you all for the love and support.
For Ian. For all in need. For a world where we can say, Goodbye, Suicide.