suicide prevention

Out of the Darkness Community Walk: Marching Toward Suicide Prevention

An opportunity to raise awareness for suicide prevention programs and connect those who have been affected by mental health and suicide

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention raises awareness toward suicide prevention with its Out of the Darkness Community Walk.

The walk on Oct. 23 at the Lincoln Memorial from 2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. is a time for participants to remember the ways in which suicide and mental illness has affected their lives and those of loved ones.

The AFSP will hand out color beads for participants to wear throughout the walk.

Each honor bead color represents a personal connection to the cause and allows participants to identify others who share similar experiences.

White represents the loss of a child, orange the loss of a sibling and red the loss of a spouse or partner. Purple represents the loss of a relative or friend, gold the loss of a parent and silver the loss of a first responder or military member. Green represents a personal struggle, teal represents friends or family that struggle, and blue signifies support for suicide prevention.

Registration for the walk is free and open to the public. Register in advance here.

The 2.8-mile walk route is paved and relatively flat. It begins at the Lincoln Memorial and passes through memorials such as the World War II Memorial, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.  

Walk organizers hope to raise $300,000. So far, they have raised more than $158,000 and will continue to accept donations until Dec. 31.

The AFSP will host a series of events preceding the march, such as creating luminarias and digital displays in honor and remembrance of the people for whom participants are walking for.

The Luminaria Display will occur Oct. 16 from 6-9 p.m. at the Jefferson Memorial in anticipation of the walk. Participants are invited to bring their own materials, including images of loved ones to personalize the bags that will be lit at 7 p.m.

The Digital Memory Quilt, where participants are invited to share their #WhyIWalk stories, can be accessed here.

The AFSP invites people to sign up to volunteer and help spread the word utilizing #StopSuicideNCAC and #outofthedarkness on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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