Out of the Darkness Suicide Prevention Walk Comes To State College
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention will bring its Out of the Darkness Community Walk to State College on April 26. The walk helps to educate teens about mental disorders, raise awareness about research, and promote programs for survivors of suicide. It is one of 360 that will occur nationwide this year alone.
The interactive and supportive event will include speakers from the local chapter and survivor stories. The walk serves as “a call to action that more must be done to prevent suicide, nationally and in communities across the country,” according to Robert Gebbia, executive director of AFSP.
The AFSP has a goal of reducing the annual rate of suicide by 20 percent, and emphasizes not only prevention, but also support for individuals affected by suicide. Each year, over 38,000 individuals will die by suicide in the U.S., and approximately 700,000 will make a suicide attempt that requires medical care.
“Much more needs to be done to prevent suicide. Yet, suicide and the underlying mental disorders that can sometimes lead to suicide continue to be surrounded by misinformation and stigma,” said Shanon Quick, Director of Crisis Intervention Services at Universal Health Services. “This walk is about reducing that stigma, raising awareness and raising needed funds for research and local prevention programs.”
Expected to unite 900 walkers, Centre County’s community walk will begin at 1:30 pm. Walkers can check in at the starting line, Sidney Friedman Park. Online registration will close the Friday before the walk, but individuals can register on the day of the walk as well. Registration and additional information can be found here.