‘Out of the Darkness Community Walk’ Highlights Importance of Suicide Prevention

    Movement of a Quarter of a Million People Joined by Local Participants in Virginia Beach

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    Participants in the 2018 Out of the Darkness Walk shine light on suicide. (Photo courtesy of Katherine Martinez)

    Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, and in the state of Virginia, on average, one person dies by suicide every seven hours. Which is why volunteers and participants from Virginia Beach, VA are joining a quarter of a million people who are walking in towns across the United States to draw attention to the fight for suicide prevention.

    The annual Virginia Beach Out of the Darkness Community Walk, hosted by The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention- Virginia Chapter will be held 8:00am-11:30am, October 26, 2019 at The Military Aviation Museum. 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, keep other families from experiencing a suicide loss, and let people know that they are not alone and it’s okay to reach out for help; there are several community resources that are: ready, willing, and able to assist those that need it. Our ultimate goal is to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide,” said Katherine Martinez, event chair for the Virginia Beach Out of the Darkness walk.

    The Virginia Beach 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 to include: research, advocacy, support and education. Last year, these walks raised over $21 million for suicide prevention. Last year this local walk, raised $76,280.12 and had 1,269 participants. 

    Speakers at the Virginia Beach Out of the Darkness Community Walk will include the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention-Virginia Chapter Board Members, Public/Motivational Speaker Thurston White, as well as presentations by local band Boxford, Chris from Music Makes you Happy Entertainment and 9 members of our community that will be a part of our Bead Ceremony. 

    Community Resources will also be present to give out information on the services they provide and on-site counselors are available thanks to Embrace/ National Counseling Group.

    “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.” 

    Local sponsors for the Virginia Beach Out of the Darkness Walk include Wasserhund Brewing Company,  BluePearl Veterinary Partners, Transgender Assistance Program- Virginia (TAP), Greenbrook TMS NeuroHealth Centers, The Destruction Room, Yu-Mi Sushi Japanese Cuisine (Kempsville Rd), and The Allergan Foundation. 

    You can register for the walk and find more information by clicking on the button below.

    The NorVA