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‘Out of the Darkness’ Walk a Benefit for Suicide Prevention

The Santa Barbara County event, planned for Sept. 12, is one of 175 to be held nationwide

Hundreds of people from throughout Santa Barbara County will be participating in the Out of the Darkness Community Walk on Sept. 12 at Leadbetter Beach.

The walk is co-sponsored by The Glendon Association, the Coalition Against Gun Violence and Cottage Hospital. The fundraising walk will benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention by helping support local and national suicide prevention and awareness programs.

The county Out of the Darkness Walk is one of nearly 175 events being held nationwide from September through December. The walks are expected to unite more than 45,000 participants nationally. Last year, AFSP conducted 156 community walks that brought together more than 36,000 walkers.

The Santa Barbara County walk on Sept. 12 will begin at 9 a.m. at Shoreline Drive and Loma Alta and end at the same location about 11:30 a.m. Speakers will include local civic leaders, city councilmembers and supporters.

“Suicide is a national health problem, but in addition, suicide is plagued by silence and stigma that continue to be barriers for seeking help,” the AFSP’s Laura Levinsky said. “This walk will help bring suicide out of the darkness and raise funds for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.”

It is estimated that nearly 1 million Americans make a suicide attempt, more than 33,000 die by suicide and more than 20 million suffer from depression each year. Suicide is the third-leading cause of death among teens and young adults, and the second-leading cause of death for college students. Additionally, Americans older than age 65 account for 16 percent of all suicide deaths.

“Every 16 minutes someone dies by suicide in the U.S.,” AFSP Executive Director Robert Gebbia said. “This fall, thousands are walking to raise money for prevention and awareness, and offer hope to the millions of Americans who have lost a loved one to suicide or have battled with depression.”

— Jina Carvalho is a member of the The Glendon Association.


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