Members of the GoodTherapy.org team dedicated the morning of September 30, the last day of National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, to participating in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s (AFSP) 2017 Out of the Darkness community walk. The walk, which took place throughout the country, is AFSP’s biggest annual fundraiser. Each year, AFSP contributes millions of dollars to funding for programs that support people affected by suicide and work toward suicide prevention. AFSP’s long-term goal is to reduce the rate of suicide by 20% by 2025.
GoodTherapy.org team members joined the walk in Olympia, Washington, which raised a total of $46,415, exceeding its goal of $40,000. The team walked a 1.5 mile loop alongside more than 570 others, nearly double the number of participants in 2016! Consisting of individuals and teams from local businesses, schools, and clubs, the group of walkers supplied a visual reminder of the great impact community members can have when they unite around a common cause. The event also featured a memorial garden where participants remembering family or friends lost to suicide could leave paper flowers and photos of loved ones. An ongoing resource fair providing literature and information on events that raise awareness of mental health issues also took place during the walk.
2017 is the fourth year GoodTherapy.org has participated in the Olympia ASFP walk around Marathon Park. With the impressive state capitol standing tall on the hill above the park, the walk is a place for people to seek inspiration, hope, and strength as a community. An event that recognizes the many ways in which suicide can impact people and communities, the Out of the Darkness walk can help connect people with others who have been affected similarly. Honor beads were provided for individuals to express their own reasons for joining the walk while also demonstrating its necessity. The colors of the beads allowed people to represent, on a personal level, different types of battles with suicide.
AFSP is on a mission to bring hope and awareness of the need for greater mental health awareness and mental and emotional well-being in our communities, a goal GoodTherapy.org is proud to share. We are dedicated to educating and empowering people to reach out for the support they need and making sure that when they do, good help is there.
Depression, grief, and loss can be overwhelming, but events like these act as a reminder that you are not alone. If you or someone you know needs help, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY). If you are not in immediate danger and wish to seek therapy for mental health concerns, you can search for a compassionate, qualified counselor here.
- Olympia walk. (n.d.). American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. https://afsp.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donordrive.event&eventID=4639
- Walk to fight suicide. (n.d.). American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Retrieved from https://afsp.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=cms.page&id=1196&eventGroupID=9AA117B3-F522-BB6D-359D1AA2D75A7958
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