By Justin Udo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Thousands gathered in front of the Philadelphia Art Museum steps Sunday morning for the Out of the Darkness Community Walk.

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The five mile walk around the city is to help raise awareness and money for suicide prevention and mental illness.

“We are pushing for public policy to support funding to fight the epidemic of suicide,” said Catherine Siciliano with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. “We have education programs that we are funding and we also fund research.”

Siciliano lost her son Anthony to suicide in 2008, and since then she has worked to help prevent and console those affected by suicide.

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“The very day that I learned of his loss I knew I had grieving to do,” she said, “but I also had a really strong conviction that I had to make a difference.”

Last year, the walk raised $300,000 toward suicide prevention. This year, they are aiming for $400,000.

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