Volunteers Walk to Fight Suicide

Movement of a Quarter of a Million People Joined by Local Participants in Sumter, SC

3 mins read

(Columbia, SC) – Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, yet suicide can be prevented. Volunteers from Sumter, SCare joining the quarter of a million people who are walking in towns across the United States to draw attention to the fight for suicide prevention.

The Columbia Area Out of the Darkness Community Walk, hosted by the AFSP SC Chapter will be held at 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm, October 24, 2021, at Columbia Canal & Riverfront Park, Columbia, SC. This walk supports the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s education and support programs and its bold goal to reduce the annual U.S. rate of suicide 20 percent by the year 2025.

“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,” said John Tjaarda, Area Director, AFSP SC Chapter.

The Columbia Area Out of the Darkness Community Walk is one of more than 550 Out of the Darkness Overnight, Community and Campus Walks being held nationwide this year. The walks are expected to unite more than 300,000 walkers and raise millions for suicide prevention efforts. Last year, these walks raised over $21 million for suicide prevention.

“These walks are about turning hope into action,” said AFSP CEO Robert Gebbia. “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.”

Julie Desrochers, Walk Co-Chair, Columbia Out of the Darkness Walk, shares, “As a two time loss survivor, I am humbled to serve as the Columbia Walk Chair to actively share AFSP’s mission to save lives with the many programs and resources available. This journey has taught me that suicide is preventable and there is hope in healing.  I want to share that with fellow survivors.”

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.

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