Suicide prevention walk raises over $11,600

Sunday in Penn Yan, 203 people participated in the “Out of the Darkness” suicide prevention community walk, raising $11,630 to date, with donations still coming in.

Up to 50 percent of the funds raised will be used for local programs like the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Yates County, and their various suicide prevention education and awareness activities.

The remaining 50 percent helps fund the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s (AFSP) national program priorities:

‒ Research into the causes of suicide and best ways to prevent it,

‒ Education and prevention programs

‒ Advocacy and work with public officials on legislation and policies that aim to improve mental health

‒ Development of support programs for those affected by suicide and suicide loss.

Walk chairwoman Sarah Thompson says, “The Western New York chapter of AFSP provided amazing — and free — help and support for launching the OOTD Walk in Yates County. Our Coalition directly benefits from the money raised for AFSP.”

This fall, the Yates County coalition will offer several more community programs:

– Oct. 17: Talk Saves Lives – a free 1-hour program that teaches suicide risk factors and warning signs, and provides prevention strategies. 6 p.m. at the Penn Yan Public Library

– Nov. 17: International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day – Survivor Day is the one day a year when people affected by suicide loss gather around the world at events in their local communities to find comfort and gain understanding as they share stories of healing and hope. 1–4 p.m. at the American Legion Post 355 in Penn Yan.

This event will offer a unique memory activity, however, it will also feature an AFSP-produced documentary that offers a message of growth, resilience and connection. Registration is open now: www.surveymonkey.com/r/99JL2FB.

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