Chicago, IL – This fall, communities across Illinois will join the fight against suicide in local Out of the Darkness Community Walks, sponsored by the Illinois Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). The walks provide an opportunity for people impacted by suicide to come together to connect and support one another, as well as raise awareness and funds for AFSP.
Walks are held in LaSalle County, Rockford, Springfield, DeKalb, the Quad Cities and other cities and towns throughout Illinois in September and October:
- DeKalb – 11:00 a.m., October 8, Hopkins Park, DeKalb, IL
- LaSalle County – 1:00 p.m., October 15, Washington Park, Ottawa, IL
- Rockford – 10:00 a.m., September 24, Rock Valley College, Rockford, IL
- Springfield – 2:00 p.m., October 15, University of Illinois-Springfield, Springfield, IL
- Quad Cities – 1:00 p.m., September 18, Wharton Field House, Moline, IL
- Find other local community walks: www.afsp.org/ILTogether
In 2020, 54% of Americans had been affected by suicide in some way. AFSP works to prevent suicide through education, advocacy and support for those impacted by suicide. The Out of the Darkness Community Walks raise awareness of these efforts and funds, which are split between Illinois and national efforts. Community walks in Illinois raise more than $400,000 annually. This is in addition to the annual Out of the Darkness Chicagoland Walk, being held on Sept. 17, 2022 this year, which is the largest of the AFSP community walks in the country.
"The Illinois Out of the Darkness Walks create immeasurable opportunities for love, compassion, outreach, and healing, which can be difficult to find in today's world climate," said Alexis Ferracuti, LaSalle County Walk Chair. "Personally, the Illinois chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has helped by providing sustainable resources and opportunities for mental health trainings to allow my rural community to have access to resources it desperately needs. You're never alone and the Out of the Darkness walks truly show that to everyone who attends."
Since the first walk was held in 2004, these walks have provided a platform to create awareness about mental health issues. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to individuals affected by suicide. The organization creates a culture that is smart regarding mental health through educational programs, advocation for suicide prevention and providing support for those affected by suicide. All donations go towards these efforts with the goal to greatly reduce the national suicide rate.
"I'm forever grateful for the opportunity to have volunteered for the last ten years and to have gained the knowledge and community programming that I have had access to only because of the efforts of our organization," said Ferracuti.
There is no fee to register for an Out of the Darkness Walk. Individuals wishing to participate can find the registration page for their local walk at www.afsp.org/ILTogether. Register today and be part of the movement coming #TogetherToFightSuicide.
For more Information about the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention go to www.afsp.org.
To find out more about the nearest local community walk, check www.afsp.org/ILTogether.