Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, yet suicide is preventable. More than 300 people are expected to participate in the annual Out of the Darkness Community Walk hosted by the Vermont chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) Saturday, Sept. 29, at Oakledge Park.
This fundraising walk supports the AFSP’s local and national education and advocacy programs and its bold goal to reduce the annual rate of suicide 20 percent by 2025.
“We walk to raise awareness about this important health issue. Suicide touches one in five American families. We hope that by walking we save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide,” said Chris Allen, AFSP Vermont chapter board vice-chair and Burlington walk chair.
The Burlington Out of the Darkness Walk is one of more than 450 Out of the Darkness Community Walks being held nationwide this year. The walks are expected to unite more than 250,000 walkers and raise millions for suicide prevention efforts. Last year, the Burlington walk raised nearly $40,000 with roughly 250 participants. Additional walks throughout Vermont include locations in Newport, Bethel, Springfield and Rutland.
Check in for the Vermont walk begins at 9 a.m. in Burlington’s Oakledge Park and opening ceremonies and the walk begins at 10 a.m. To register visit afsp.org/Burlington or call 413-387-3770.