By Amanda Schreck
SC Staff Writer
ESU’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is hosting an Out of the Darkness Suicide Prevention Walk on Tuesday, September 30, to raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).
The 45-minute walk will start at the Hoeffner Science and Technology Center and continue around campus, ending with an event featuring suicide survivor Kevin Hines.
Anyone, student or otherwise, can register for the walk at afsp.donordrive.com until Friday, September 26, at 12:00 PM, or upon arrival before the walk begins on September 30.
Registration for the walk will start at 5:15 PM in the Science and Technology Center. The walk itself will begin at 6:00 PM. There will be a special event after the conclusion of the walk at 7:00 PM featuring Kevin Hines in the Keystone Room.
Suicide prevention walks are not common on college campuses; this is the first to be done in this area. Donations will be accepted until December 31, 2015, and can be made online on AFSP’s website.
“[Hines] jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge and survived. He goes around the country, talks about suicide and how to recognize the signs and symptoms, brings awareness to the community, and lets people know that there are treatments out there that can help,” said Angelique Cortez, coordinator of the Out of the Darkness Walk.
“Everyone can participate, even if they are unable to donate. Suicide is such a serious health problem in our country. Every participant is important. Just being there is supporting the cause to help keep suicide from being an option,” said Cortez.
The United States is ranked 33 in the average number of suicides with almost 40,000 deaths occurring every year. It is reported that, worldwide, there is one suicide every 40 seconds.
AFSP is trying to raise awareness for this global issue and fight for prevention in order to lower that number.
One of their main goals is to educate the public about depression and other psychological disorders associated with suicide.
AFSP trains and educates individuals about the symptoms and treatment options available for people who suffer from depression and the health risks that it imposes.
“I hope students will benefit from learning more about suicide; this is a serious health concern in our community,” said Cortez.
According to Cortez, the main goal of the evening will be “supporting people who have lost a loved one to suicide, being able to share information about suicide after the walk, and having a sense of what this cause is all about.”
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