Suicide claims more lives than war, murder and natural disasters combined. In the United States, that’s a devastating loss of life every 13.7 minutes. Suicide is preventable, and the depression that leads to suicide is treatable. However, the stigma and secrecy around suicide, as well as mental illness, makes it a challenge to help those most in need.
Bowling Green’s 6th Annual Out of the Darkness Community Walk is a beacon of light for this issue. Hosted by the Southern Kentucky Survivors of Suicide and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the walk raises awareness locally, throughout the state, and across the country. This year’s walk will be held October 14 at 10 a.m. at Ephram White Park.
According to the AFSP website, “There is no single cause to suicide.
It most often occurs when stressors exceed current coping abilities of someone suffering fr
om a mental health condition.” Step out of the darkness. Step away from the shame. Walk with others who share the pain of losing someone, who share the pain of illness.
Monies raised through this event help right here in Southern Kentucky. Volunteers lead survivor support groups and distribute materials to health care facilities and schools. Goals this year include increased collaboration with organizations that serve at-risk populations such as veterans, children, and young adults. The AFSP has special training toolkits for educators and private screening computer programs that could be used in the middle and high schools around Bowling Green. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people ages 15-34 in Kentucky.
At the national level, the AFSP works primarily to fund scientific research, educate the public, promote policies and legislation that impact suicide and prevention and provide programs and resources for survivors of suicide loss and people at risk. More resources on suicide prevention and ways to donate if you cannot attend the walk are available through the AFSP website, www.afsp.org. Individuals and teams are invited to raise money and participate in the walk, building and uniting a local community of survivors.
“The only way that the stigma surrounding suicide and mental disorders can ever be broken down is with a united voice saying it’s ok to get help” – AFSP
For more information, visit www.afsp.org. There you will find information on Suicide, what to do if someone is suffering, ways AFSP is making a difference, how you can help. You can also sign up for our local community walk.
We are also on Facebook under Bowling Green, Kentucky Suicide Prevention. There you can catch up on local, up-to-date volunteer opportunities in our community, learn what we are doing with monies raised through our local walk, and you can sign up for the walk right from the page and invite friends.
Bowling Green Area 6th Annual Walk to Prevent Suicide
- October 14, 2017
- Ephram White Park
885 Mount Olivet Rd.
Bowling Green KY 42101
- Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the walk starts at 10 a.m.
- Feel free to bring a framed photograph of your loved one. We also encourage team shirts.
- If you raise $150 or more you will receive a t-shirt and other prizes depending on the amount of money raised!
We would like to thank our two main event sponsors FARMERS NATIONAL BANK & RIVENDELL BEHAVIORAL HEALTH HOSPITAL! We are forever grateful for their commitment to end suicide in our community. AFSP has set a bold goal to reduce the annual suicide rate in the U.S. 20 percent by 2025, and they are helping us reach that goal. THANK YOU!