JAMESTOWN Community members are expected to participate in the Out of the Darkness Community Walk Saturday. The fundraising walk supports the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention by helping to support local and national suicide prevention and awareness programs.
The Jamestown Out of the Darkness Walk is one of the nearly 250 Out of the Darkness Community Walks (www.outofthedarkness.org) being held this fall nationwide. The walks are expected to unite more than 100,000 walkers nationally and raise more than $7.5 million for suicide prevention efforts.
This walk is being organized by a local suicide awareness and prevention coalition within the county. The coalition is made up of members from various organizations such as Chautauqua Tapestry, Compeer Chautauqua, Crisis Services, Chautauqua Opportunities, NYS Office of Mental Health, Chautauqua County Department of Mental Hygiene, Department of Youth Services for the City of Jamestown, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, WCA hospital and passionate community members.
"Suicide has devastating effects on so many people. There needs to be better understanding regarding its causes and prevention. There is so much stigma and misinformation surrounding the topic of suicide and the underlying mental disorders that can sometimes lead to suicide," said Lexy Baglia, member of the suicide awareness coalition. This walk is aimed at raising awareness and eliminating that stigma."
The Jamestown community walk will take place at Falconer Central School at 9:30 a.m. and end at about noon. To register, go to www.outofthedarkness.org and go to the Jamestown walk page.
It is estimated that close to 1 million Americans make a suicide attempt, more than 36,000 die by suicide, and more than 20 million suffer from depression each year.
"Every 14 minutes someone dies by suicide in the U.S.," said Robert Gebbia, Executive Director for AFSP. "This fall, thousands will be walking to raise money for prevention and awareness, and offer hope to millions of people who have lost a loved one to suicide or who battle personally with depression, bipolar illness, addiction and other mental illnesses."