OUT OF THE DARKNESS WALK RAISES SUICIDE PREVENTION AWARENESS

Out Of The Darkness

By WVUA 23 Reporter Cameron Dobbs

The Out of the Darkness Walk, dedicated to raising awareness for suicide prevention, was held on the University of Alabama campus Sunday afternoon.

The annual walk is held to show community support for people who have experienced loss by suicide and those who might be struggling with mental health. The event was held in partnership with UA’s Counseling Center, Tide Against Suicide and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

The walk to end the stigma took participants on two laps around UA’s quad. Even in the rainy weather, over 100 people walked.

Before the walk began, participants gathered in the Ferguson Center’s Great Hall to hear mental health professionals in the Tuscaloosa area talk about available resources.

Three featured speakers then spoke on their personal experience with suicide.

“I want everyone here to know that if you have any thoughts about ending your life, you are not a burden and we will not be better off without you,” said Ashley Jones, a staff therapist at UA’s Counseling Center. “Choose to live, choose to fight, and know that we will go through it together.”

The top fundraiser, fraternity Theta Chi, raised over $6,000 for the AFSP. All donations will go toward crisis training, research and advocacy for suicide prevention programs.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

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