‘Out of the Darkness Community Walk’ being held for suicide prevention
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s South Carolina chapter is holding its annual “Out of the Darkness Community Walk” for the Charleston area.
According to the foundation, suicide is a leading cause of death and the twelfth leading cause of death in South Carolina alone. Volunteers will walk Sunday in Charleston to join the quarter of a million volunteers across the country who are trying to raise awareness in the fight for suicide prevention.
“Suicide touches one in five American families. We hope that by walking we will draw attention to this issue and keep other families from experiencing a suicide loss. Our goal is to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide,” AFSP South Carolina Chapter Board Member and Walk Chair Regina Creech said.
This walk will support the foundation’s education and support program, as well as its goal to reduce the annual rate of suicide in the United States by 20%, which it hopes to achieve by 2025.
“These walks are about turning hope into action,” AFSP CEO Robert Gebbia said. “The research has shown us how to fight suicide, and if we keep up the fight, the science is only going to get better and our culture will get smarter about mental health. With the efforts of our courageous volunteers, and a real investment from our nation’s leaders, we hope to significantly reduce the suicide rate in the United States.”
Charleston’s walk is one of over 550 “Out of the Darkness” walks being held this year. They are projected to see a combined number of over 300,000 volunteers at these events and the foundation expects to raise millions of dollars for suicide prevention efforts after raising more than $21 million last year.
Charleston’s walk alone last year had 600 participants and raised over $40,000.
Registration for the walk begins at 1 p.m. Sunday at Riverfront Park and the walk itself will start at 2 p.m.
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