The Out of the Darkness Walks are proof that when people work together, they can make big changes in our world. Taking place in hundreds of cities around the U.S. each fall, these community walks raise awareness for an important cause, as well as the resources needed to carry out the mission of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) – to “Save Lives and Bring Hope to Those Affected.” To fully achieve its mission, AFSP engages in the following Five Core Strategies:
- Fund scientific research
- Offer educational programs for professionals
- Educate the public about mood disorders and suicide prevention
- Promote policies and legislation that impact suicide and prevention
- Provide programs and resources for survivors of suicide loss and people at risk, and involve them in the work of the Foundation
Currently, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. Statistics show that a person dies by suicide about every 12.3 minutes in the United States. That is approximately 117 Americans every day.
In 1994, I lost my sister to suicide. I know firsthand the devastation for families/friends after the loss of a loved one due to suicide. When news of the Out of the Darkness Walk came to Butte, I knew that this is where I needed to volunteer my time. My husband and I participated in the first Out of the Darkness Walk in Butte last year and this year, on September 11, 2016, Team Pam was formed in honor of my sister. With WET’s sponsorship of the team and the contributions and participation of many amazing individuals, Team Pam raised $1035.00 for the AFSP this year. In total, through this year’s walk, the Butte community raised $20,541 for this vital cause.
For more information about this charity, visit httpss://afsp.org/.