Walk to prevent Suicide 2010In 2009, more than 56,000 participants across the United States took steps to help save lives by walking in one of the 192 Out of the Darkness Community Walk locations. Together, participants raised over $4.2 million for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).

This year, Foster Park will be the location for one of those 250 community walks on October 23, 2010 in hopes of creating awareness and more funds for aggressive mental health research within your local community.

AFSP is the leading not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research and education, and to reaching out to people with mood disorders and those impacted by suicide. Since 1987, AFSP has supported research that is improving our understanding of suicide and its prevention. Since 2000, AFSP has invested over $10 million in new studies, as well as provided education and information through public workshops, trainings, videos, publications and public service announcements

The funds raised from the walk at Foster Park will be used locally to train interested individuals in prevention, post-vention and gatekeeper training for suicide prevention. The funds will also be used to send interested individuals to facilitator trainings to start support groups for survivors of suicide loss, support national survivor day events in the area, and help us get resources to survivors. Some funds will also be used to get educational materials into area high schools and colleges and train facilitators of those programs.

The walk will help raise awareness for suicide prevention and also to fight the stigma that is associated with suicide. You can walk to honor a loved one lost, because they have struggled with depression and suicide themselves, or because they support the cause. On occasion friends and family will create a team and walk together to remember a loved one lost.

This walk is important to bring to Fort Wayne, as it is the second biggest city in Indiana. We have over five colleges and even more high schools.

Suicide is the third leading cause of death for ages 15 to 24. It’s important that we get resources out to colleges and high schools about suicide prevention.

The goal of the Fort Wayne walk is to raise $10,000 and in order for that to happen, we need corporate or individual sponsorships. The sponsorships not only help raise more money for the walk, but they also cover the costs of different expenses, such as renting the pavilion at the park, getting beverages for the walkers, signs for the day of the walk, t-shirts, and many other small things. For more information on participating in the walk, or making a donation or sponsorship, you can contact Ashley Jones by email at ash.nic.jones@gmail.com.

The Waynedale News Staff
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