During a visit to Ireland earlier this year, John Murray joined in a gathering of 200,000 people across the country for the Darkness Into Light Walk, an annual event to promote suicide prevention. He was so moved by the experience that when he returned to Martha’s Vineyard he set out to organize a similar event.

Mr. Murray found a partner in Maria Ventura, who was also planning a suicide prevention walk at the same time with the help of Susan Mercier, a program director at Martha’s Vineyard Community Services.

The event will take place this Saturday, Sept. 29, beginning at 5 a.m. at Bend in the Road on State Beach in Edgartown. The walk starts before sunrise and will continue until after daybreak. The roughly two-mile circuit starts at Bend in the Road and heads along the bike path toward Big Bridge before crossing to the beach side and returning in an eastward direction to walk into the morning light.

Candles will be provided for participants. People are encouraged to park at the Dark Woods lot and use the Park & Ride to keep the walking path clear of cars.

Mr. Murray said they chose the early start for a symbolic reason.

“We start in the darkness of depression and suicidal thoughts and as you walk it gets brighter,” he said. “By the time you get to the finish of the walk it’s a new day. You can start your life over again.”

Ms. Ventura said it was a tragedy in her family that made her passionate about suicide prevention and want to find a way to show those struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts that people care about them.

“Twelve years ago, I lost my father to suicide,” she said. “Since then, I’ve always wanted to raise awareness. Everyone is moving so fast in the world and I just want people to know that there are people to reach out to.”

Funds raised from the walk will be donated to community services for the Island Intervention Center, a program that provides urgent care and suicide prevention services to the Vineyard. With Dukes County experiencing one of the highest suicide rates in the state, Mrs. Mercier stressed the importance of the community supporting an on-Island treatment center through events like this.

“It’s important that we all come together,” she said. “Anytime we can gather together and allow people a safe place to talk about their experience, I think there is tremendous power in that.”

Ms. Ventura said the organizers plan to continue the event annually. She wants anyone on the Island with suicidal thoughts to know that they are not alone, and that there are people willing to walk alongside them into the light of a new day.

“I want someone driving down the street who might be suffering to see that there are people that care,” she said. “Maybe that will be that next step to get help.”

Walkers can register for the event and donate electronically on the Martha’s Vineyard Community Services website. Registration is not required to participate in the event.

Visit mvcommunityservices.com.