The 2013 Out of the Darkness Community Walk campaign is in full swing, with hundreds of walks taking place nationwide throughout the fall. Funds are used to support suicide prevention research, local prevention and educational programs, advocacy, and survivor of suicide loss programs in walk communities.
Since 2004, the first year for these walks, these events have grown from 25 walks with 4,000 participants to today’s significant walk campaign to raise awareness and funds for suicide prevention.
This year, the walks are expected to draw more than 120,000 participants, and raise over $9.3 million.
“Suicide takes an enormous toll on families, friends and neighbors, leaving communities across the country devastated by this national health problem,” AFSP Executive Director Robert Gebbia said. “The Out of the Darkness Community Walks will unite thousands of people with common goals, preventing suicide and ending the stigma that surrounds depression and other mental disorders.”
With many new cities being added each year, the community walks have continued to grow, thanks to the dedication of participants, volunteers, staff and donors nationwide.
Many event participants walk because they, a friend or family member, suffer from a mental disorder that puts them at risk for suicide, or they have lost someone to suicide. Community walks are organized by dedicated local volunteers and average three miles in length. While there is no minimum fundraising requirement for these walks, participants are encouraged to raise at least $150 for the cause.
For more information and to register for a 2013 Out of the Darkness Community Walk, go to OutOfTheDarkness.org.