Title: Out Of The Darkness Community Walk
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Description: WALK PLANNED AT PENN STATE ALTOONA TO
STOP THE SILENCE ABOUT SUICIDE
300 People Expected to Participate in an “Out of the Darkness Community Walk”
April 17, 2010 at Penn State Altoona starting at 9:00 a.m.
The Blair County Suicide Prevention Task Force, will host its first Out of the Darkness Walk at Penn State Altoona (www.outofthedarkness.org) on April 17, 2010 starting at 10:00 a.m. – check in time at 9:00 a.m. This signature fundraising walk is expected to draw more than 300 participants and raise over $10,000 to fund suicide prevention programs both locally and nationally. Since 2004, the first year for these walks, participants and sponsors have raised over $11 million for research and education.
“Suicide and mental illness takes an enormous toll on families, friends and neighbors leaving communities across the country devastated by this national health problem,” said Cindy Estep, Walk Chair and survivor of suicide. Cindy lost her 17 year old son, James to suicide in 1999. “Finding his lifeless body was very traumatic and life altering. Within the next 16 months, three of his friends also choose suicide. While still in shock with my son’s death, I held the hand of my son’s best friend’s mother as she identified her son’s body. I kept thinking, when will this end?” “This spring, 100 Out of the Darkness Campus Walks will unite thousands of people with common goals, preventing suicide and ending the stigma that surrounds depression and other mental illnesses”. There are 100 campus walks throughout the country.
Close to one million people make a suicide attempt each year and every 16 minutes someone dies by suicide in the U.S. In Blair County, on average nineteen people commit suicide every year with ages ranging from sixteen to over seventy-five year old. Most of our communities have been touched by suicide in one way or another. More than 90 percent of people who die by suicide have an underlying mental illness, most often depression. More than 24 million people suffer from depression or another mood disorder each year. Suicide affects people of all age groups and socio-economic backgrounds. It is the fourth leading cause of death among adults 18-65, the third leading cause of death among teens and young adults and individuals ages 65 and older account for 16 percent of all suicide deaths.
Many of the people will be walking to raise funds and awareness because they, a friend or family member suffers with a mood disorder or have lost someone to suicide. There is no fundraising requirement for these walks, but participants are encouraged to raise at least $150 for the cause. To register, donate or to find a walk near you visit www.outofthedarkness.org and click on Blair County Walk.
About the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is the only national not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research and education, and to reaching out to people with mood disorders and those affected by suicide.
Start Time: 09:00
End Time: 12:00