Walking out of darkness — even without the walk


On a campus where suicide has reared its ugly head too many times, there are reasons to look ahead, to seek the light in times of darkness.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Western Pennsylvania Chapter was not able to hold its Out of the Darkness Walk on the Slippery Rock campus on April 25, but that did not stop the walk from going on virtually.

Almost $3,000 has been raised, and with the donor pages open through the end of June, the $5,000 goal is well within reach.

According to an email from the AFSP – Western PA chapter, all funds raised will go toward bringing educational programming to Slippery Rock and across the state.

“By walking and raising funds for the Slippery Rock University Campus Walk, you are bringing hope and healing to those who have lost a loved one to suicide,” Western PA chapter Area Director Jesse Putkoski said in an email. “The funds raised make it possible for us to offer programs and resources as well as volunteer opportunities for survivors who find meaning in supporting their peers.”

Donations can be made to individual Slippery Rock fundraiser teams or at the AFSP donation page on its website.

With the help of walkers and donations, the AFSP hopes to cut the annual suicide rate 25% by 2025.

The AFSP website details just how fundraising can help in the fight against suicide. The main goal of the AFSP is to save lives and bring home to those affected by suicide.

According to the AFSP, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death, with someone committing suicide every 40 seconds around the world. The AFSP fights to change that. According to the website, fundraising will help fund research to improve interventions, train clinicians in suicide prevention and advocate for policy that will save lives.

In addition to “changing the statistic,” the AFSP uses fundraising to provide educational courses and interactive screening programs to local schools and communities, and it hopes to bring hope and healing to those who have been affected by suicide.

One of the ways the AFSP is promoting mental health awareness is its #RealConvo campaign for Mental Health Awareness month in May.

“For May Mental Health Awareness Month, ASFP shares tools, resources and creative ways to have a #RealConvo with the people in your life,” AFSP said in an email. “You don’t need special training to have an open, authentic conversation about mental health. Often, just talking about it can be the first important step in staying connected for yourself or someone else, and helping get the support or treatment if needed.”
The AFSP will be hosting events all month, link here.
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Karl is a senior sport management major and communication minor entering his fifth semester on The Rocket staff. He will serve as the sports editor after previously serving as the assistant sports editor. During his time with The Rocket, he has covered every sport that SRU has to offer, and with the lack of sports this coming semester, he is looking forward to finding alternative ways to deliver sports news to the SRU community. After graduation, he hopes to work in the sports writing field.


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