GoodTherapy.org Participates in 2015 Out of the Darkness Walk

out of the darkness community walksFor the second year in a row, GoodTherapy.org team members participated in and helped sponsor the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) Out of the Darkness walk for suicide awareness. The team joined hundreds of others in Olympia, Washington on Saturday, September 12 for the 1.5-mile walk around Capitol Lake. Of the nearly $21,000 total funds raised from the Olympia walk, the GoodTherapy.org team raised a total of $1,750 and was the top fundraising team for the event.

Thirteen GoodTherapy.org employees participated in the walk and had a total of 19 walkers, including family members. Colin Matteson, business development manager, coordinated GoodTherapy.org’s involvement and fundraising efforts in the Olympia walk.

“Participating in this year’s Out of the Darkness Community Walk in Olympia was an inspiring experience,” Matteson says. “The AFSP did such a wonderful job organizing this event, and I was especially moved by the personal stories that some of the attendees shared publicly. There was a feeling of strength and positivity in the air that made the hundreds of individual attendees feel like one supportive, loving group. It has become so easy to engage with almost everything in our lives virtually, we forget how powerful it is to attend events like this and connect with members of our community. I found it extremely rewarding to see so many people come together for a great cause. I’m already looking forward to next year’s walk!”

Out of the Darkness walks help suicide awareness and prevention movements gain momentum and visibility in communities. By bringing the discussion out into the open, events like these serve to educate and inform the public about suicide as a global issue. Signs along the trail at the Olympia walk shared statistics, research, and messages of hope, which have the power to influence not only those who have experienced effects of suicide, but also those who can make a difference for an individual or for the movement as a whole.

AFSP olympia walk 2015And the movement is growing: in 2004, the number of community walks that took place throughout the United States was 24. In 2015, the AFSP projects 350 community walks. This means a difference between 4,000 walkers in 2004 and an estimated 200,000 walkers in 2015. With the help of donations from events like the Olympia Out of the Darkness walk, AFSP has set a goal to reduce the annual suicide rate 20% by 2025.

Money raised from the Out of the Darkness walks goes toward research, advocacy for public policies regarding suicide prevention, support for suicide attempt survivors and survivors of suicide loss, and educational programs. Funds raised in 2015 have already surpassed 2014 donations by $3,000, and that number will continue to grow. Organizers set a goal of $25,000 for the Olympia walk, and they are hopeful they can reach it through post-event donations accepted through the end of the year. If you are interested in making a contribution, you may do so here.

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  • lavinia

    lavinia

    September 17th, 2015 at 10:59 AM

    Such a great cause and I know that there are people nationwide who appreciate that kind of support!

  • todd

    todd

    September 18th, 2015 at 11:31 AM

    I have thought about trying to organize a group or walk like this where I live but did not know how I could contact the association to ask them for help or pointers?

  • Macy

    Macy

    September 21st, 2015 at 10:36 AM

    Sometimes the biggest things start out small and I think that this could be a real example of what caring and making a difference is supposed to be all about.

  • della

    della

    September 22nd, 2015 at 10:24 AM

    What I think would be so great would be if more and more companies like yours with high profiles would begin to get more involved in activities like this. I think that it sends such a worthwhile and positive message to the community that hey, we not only care about these issues and the ways that they impact our community, but that we also care enough about ourselves to stay physically involved and do something meaningful. I think that if more companies would do things like this then you would see more and more of the general public understand that these are things that are important and that should be supported.

  • Liillian

    Liillian

    September 23rd, 2015 at 10:57 AM

    certainly a beautiful setting for a beautiful walk and a wonderful cause that means so much to so many people.

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