Ann Arbor Steps Forward in National Suicide Prevention Movement
The troubling reality that suicide stands as a leading cause of death in the U.S. has motivated residents of Ann Arbor, MI, to join approximately 250,000 others nationwide in a proactive stance against this crisis. They aim to shed light on the critical need for suicide prevention.
On Saturday, September 24th, at 1:00 PM, Hudson Mills Metro Park in Dexter, MI, will host the annual "Ann Arbor Out of the Darkness Community Walk." Organized by the AFSP Michigan Chapter, the event stands as a beacon of hope, intending to rally support for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s education and outreach programs.
Reid Depowski-Knowles, the AFSP MI Board President and Co-Chair of the Ann Arbor Walk, emphasized the devastating reach of the issue “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 ultimate goal is to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide.”
Across the country, over 550 Out of the Darkness events, encompassing Overnight, Community, and Campus Walks, will take place this year. These walks aim to bring together an anticipated 300,000 participants, generating millions in funding for suicide prevention endeavors. In the previous year, the collective effort raised an impressive $21 million. The Ann Arbor local walk alone garnered over $40,000, with a participation of over 350 walkers.
Robert Gebbia, AFSP CEO, encapsulated the purpose of these walks, stating, “These walks are about turning hope into action. 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.”
The Ann Arbor Out of the Darkness Walk has received notable local support. Prominent sponsors include Timber Creek Counseling, Cypress Counseling Center, P.C., and Therapy Today Counseling and Consulting LLC. Interested individuals are encouraged to register at AFSP.org/AnnArbor.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention stands at the forefront of this battle, committed to safeguarding lives from suicide. Under the leadership of CEO Robert Gebbia, with its main office located in New York and a dedicated policy office in Washington, D.C., AFSP operates in all 50 states, driving education, research, advocacy, and support for those impacted by suicide.
To learn more about AFSP's initiatives and achievements, refer to their latest Annual Report. Furthermore, stay updated on their suicide prevention efforts by connecting with AFSP on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.