It’s responsible for 123 deaths per day, and yet suicide is often only discussed in hushed tones. It's the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, but suicide is preventable. Volunteers from throughout the Capital Area are expected to join the quarter of a million people who are walking in towns across the United States to draw attention to the fight for suicide prevention.
The annual Lansing/Capital Area Out of the Darkness Community Walk hosted by the AFSP Michigan Chapter at 9:30am at Hawk Island Park. This fundraising walk supports the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s local and national education and advocacy programs and its bold goal to reduce the annual rate of suicide 20 percent by 2025.
“Suicide is a devasting issue that effects one in five American families. We lose nearly 1,400 Michiganders to suicide each year. We walk to raise awareness about this important health issue. We hope that by walking we save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide,” said Corbin J. Standley, Board Member for the Michigan Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
The Lansing/Capital Area Out of the Darkness Walk is one of more than 550 Out of the Darkness Walks being held nationwide this year. The walks are expected to unite more than 300,000 walkers and raise millions for suicide prevention efforts. With this walk last year, the Lansing AFSP Committee raised over $80,000. This year the event planners hope to reach $100,000.
Among others, the Lansing/Capital Area Out of the Darkness Walk will recognize the efforts of State Senator Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D-23) in promoting mental health and suicide prevention legislation, as well as our active duty military, veterans, and first responders. “These walks are about turning hope into action,” said AFSP CEO Robert Gebbia. “Suicide is a serious problem, but it’s a problem we can solve. The research has shown us how to fight suicide, and if we keep up the fight the science is only going to get better, our culture will get smarter about mental health, and we’ll be able to save more people from dying from depression and other mental health conditions.”
Local sponsors for the Lansing/Capital Area Out of the Darkness Community Walk include Community Mental Health, Meijer, Sparrow, Flagstar Bank, and McLaren.
The event is free to attend, but donations are encouraged and walkers who raise $150 by walk day will receive a free t-shirt.
Attendees can register and donate at afsp.org/Lansing. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide.
AFSP creates a culture that’s smart about mental health through education and community programs, develops suicide prevention through research and advocacy, and provides support for those affected by suicide.
Led by CEO Robert Gebbia and headquartered in New York, and with a public policy office in Washington, D.C., AFSP has local chapters in all 50 states with programs and events nationwide. Learn more about AFSP in its latest Annual Report, and join the conversation on suicide prevention by following AFSP on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.