Out of the Darkness Community Walks

More than 3000 people gathered at the MASS Mutual Center to raise awareness to this serious public health issue

The Western MA Walk continues to grow

Walkers leaving the Mass Mutual Center

Out of the Darkness Community Walks

The Out of the Darkness Community Walks are AFSP’s signature fundraising campaign.

Every fall, family members, friends, and colleagues walk 3–5 miles together in hundreds of communities across the nation to prevent suicide, raise awareness, and end the stigma that surrounds depression and other mental disorders.

With each stride, our walkers save lives, honor loved ones lost to suicide and raise funds to support AFSP’s vital mission.

Below are the walks being held in your state. For a complete list, click here.

Walkers Begin
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Springfield Welcomes the 2013 Western MA Out of the Darkness Community Walk  

3000 Expected to Participate September 29th 

On September 29, 2013 at the Mass Mutual Center, Main Street, Springfield, MA, we will hold the 13th annual Out of the Darkness Community Walk. This signature fundraising event is expected to raise $100,000 and draw thousands of participants from across Western Massachusetts to raise money for suicide prevention, research, education and their support for survivors of suicide loss. Locally, the walk is headed by Patricia Pupek of West Springfield.  AFSP is the only national not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research and education, and reaching out to people with mood disorders and those affected by suicide. Money raised will be used locally for prevention, survivor initiatives and educational programs. Since the beginning of these community walks, participants and sponsors have raised nearly $10 million for research and education. 

“Suicide and mental illness take an enormous toll on families, friends and neighbors, leaving communities across the nation devastated by this national health problem,” said Robert Gebbia, Executive Director for AFSP. This Fall, the “Out of the Darkness Community Walk” will unite thousands of people with common goals of preventing suicide and ending the stigma that surrounds depression and mental illness. 

Each year in the United States, close to one million people attempt suicide, and every 14 minutes someone will die. More than 35 million people suffer from depression or another mood disorder, affecting our families, friends and neighbors. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among teens and young adults, and the second leading cause of death for college students.  Additionally, Americans over the age of 65 account for 16 percent of all suicides.


Please join us Sunday, September 29, 2013. Registration begins at 8:45 a.m. and the walk along the Connecticut River begins at 10:00 a.m. Please contact Pat Pupek at 413-626-5656 – patpupek@comcast.net for details.