North Country Out of the Darkness Walk Scheduled for October 1
Community Walk to Fight Suicide in its 9th Year
Lake Placid, NY – August 10, 2017 – People from throughout the North Country are expected to participate in the 9th Annual North Country Out of the Darkness Community Walk to Fight Suicide at 1:00 pm, Sunday, October 1, 2017 at the Olympic Speed Skating Oval in Lake Placid. This fundraising walk supports the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s local and national programs and its bold goal to reduce the annual rate of suicide 20 percent by 2025.
“Suicide affects one in five American families. I am walking to bring awareness to this leading cause of death and let people in the community know that they are not alone. There is help out there for those who live with a mental health condition and support for those who have lost a loved one to suicide,” said Shelby Davis, 2017 North Country Walk Chairperson and member of the Essex County Suicide Prevention Coalition.
The North Country Walk is part of a national Out of the Darkness walk movement, consisting of Community Walks, Campus Walks and two Overnight walks each year. In 2016, AFSP hosted more than 500 Out of the Darkness Walks spanning all 50 states, uniting more than 240,000 walkers and raising millions for suicide prevention research, education and advocacy.
Proceeds from the walks support programs such as Talk Saves Lives™; an educational presentation on how to recognize the risk factors and warning signs of suicide, and a new film entitled It’s Real: College Students and Mental Health that launched this spring. Through fundraising at the walks and other community and national events, AFSP has been able to fund 552 research grants totaling over $34 million dollars since 1987.
In the past year, the Capital Region Chapter:
- Presented More Than Sad, a teen depression awareness program for middle and high schoolers to over 1,000 students, school personnel and parents;
- Provided support to 199 survivors of suicide loss;
- Provided safeTALK and Mental Health First Aid trainings to 364 people;
- Hosted Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, a one-day healing conference for those who have lost someone to suicide at 6 different conference sites;
- Participated in 18 community health fairs providing information and resources to over 700 attendees;
- Presented Talk Saves Lives, an introduction to suicide prevention to educate everyone in the community on risk factors, warning signs and how to help to 720 people; and, so much more.
“Fifty percent of the funds we raise stay here in the North Country to support programs like these, and the rest goes to research and special projects, like Project 2025. As a survivor of suicide loss, it’s important to me our fundraising dollars stay local; our communities need this support. If you know of any suicide prevention needs in your community, please know the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Essex County Suicide Prevention Coalition is ready and willing to bring programs and services to you at no cost,” said Shelby Davis.
“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.”
Walkers can register at www.afsp.org/northcountry until 12:00 noon on Friday, September 29, 2017, however anyone who would like to participate can register in person at the walk from the time check-in begins until the walk starts. Registration begins at 11:30 am on October 1, Opening Ceremony is at 1:00 pm, and the Walk begins at 1:30 pm and includes a walk around the Oval and Mirror Lake, with the Closing Ceremony at approximately 3:00 pm.
The Walk also includes family friendly activities like face painting, a clown, music, Adirondack Bagpipers, basket raffles, silent auction, light refreshments, dove balloon release, team photos, memory board, Lifekeeper Memory Quilts, community resource tables and more.
The Walk is seeking sponsors, donations for basket raffles and silent auctions, and volunteers to assist the day of the event. For information about corporate sponsorships or volunteering, call Shelby at 962-2077 ext. 229 or email Shelby@mhainessex.org.
Local AFSP sponsors for the North Country Out of the Darkness Community Walk include the Essex County Suicide Prevention Coalition, Citizen Advocates, Adirondack Health, Northern Insuring Agency, Inc., The Wild Center, Whiteface Club & Resort, Mirror Lake Inn, and Ticonderoga Federal Credit Union.
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. AFSP celebrates 30 years of service to the suicide prevention movement. 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.
It is the mission of the Essex County Suicide Prevention Coalition to work together as a community to increase suicide awareness and prevention. The Coalition envisions Essex County having the necessary information and tools to raise awareness, promote education, and increase action to reduce suicides. Learn more about the Coalition on our website, Facebook and Twitter.