UND Out of the Darkness walk to be held virtually this weekend
UND’s Out of the Darkness campus walk will be held virtually this year due to ongoing concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization said in a press release.
The walk, which was first held last year in Grand Forks, raises awareness and money for suicide prevention through the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
The walk will be held virtually on Sunday, April 19, beginning at 1 p.m. on the group’s Facebook page.
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s goal is to reduce the annual U.S. rate of suicide 20% by the year 2025. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.
“Suicide touches one in five American families. We hope that, by walking, we will draw attention to this issue and keep other families from experiencing a suicide loss. Our ultimate goal is to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide,” said Abby Wilmer, UND Out of The Darkness campus walk committee chair.
The UND Out of the Darkness Campus Walk is one of more than 550 Out of the Darkness overnight, community and campus walks being held nationwide this year. The walks are expected to unite more than 300,000 walkers and raise millions for suicide prevention efforts. Last year this local walk raised more than $23,000 and had 310 participants.
“These walks are about turning hope into action,” said AFSP CEO Robert Gebbia. “The research has shown us how to fight suicide, and if we keep up the fight, the science is only going to get better and our culture will get smarter about mental health. With the efforts of our courageous volunteers, and a real investment from our nation’s leaders, we hope to significantly reduce the suicide rate in the United States.”