May 19, 2024
Annapolis, US 69 F

The 12th Annual Annapolis Out of the Darkness Walk Returns to an In-Person Event

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) Maryland Chapter is moving forward with plans to host the 12 th annual Annapolis Out of the Darkness Community Walk in person on September 18, 2021, from 9 AM to 2 PM at the Navy-Marine Corps Stadium. The health and safety of our participants, staff, and volunteers will be our top priorities as we work with local authorities to make this a safe event. We will continue to offer options to participate online, for those who do not feel comfortable attending.

Our community has always been the heart of the Out of the Darkness Walks. The global pandemic has impacted the emotional and economic well-being of many individuals and families and left many of us to manage a variety of emotions, including feelings of uncertainty. In Maryland, suicide continues to be the 11th leading cause of death. While the overall number of suicides in the U.S. dropped in 2019 and 2020, Maryland’s suicide rate did not decrease. Now, more than ever, it’s important for everyone to stay connected and take steps to safeguard our mental health to prevent suicide.

The walk is an opportunity to unite as a community to fight suicide while showing up for yourself, recognizing and honoring those you love, raising awareness, educating communities, supporting one another, and sharing hope. AFSP remains dedicated to providing our walk participants with opportunities to connect, heal, share stories, create impact, and show you that they are not alone.

“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 Kat Olbrich, Maryland and Delaware Area Director for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

To provide participants with a meaningful and safe event, this year’s Annapolis Out of the Darkness Walk will look a bit different from past walks. Those who pre-reregister for free at, do not have to check-in on the day of. For those who do not-preregister, QR codes to register and donate will speed up the process, but pre-registration is encouraged. Teams and walkers will be assigned arrival times, allowing for a more staggered two mile walk over the course of 4 hours. Please bring your smartphone, water, and mask. When on the premises of the Navy Stadium, we ask that those who have not been vaccinated wear a mask if they cannot social distance. More safety tips can be found on the walk website. Participants will be able to pick-up honor beads to show their connection to the cause and explore resources provided by local community partners and mental health services. Like in the past, a  slideshow will run on the Stadium’s jumbotrons to honor and remember those lost to suicide.

The Annapolis Out of the Darkness Community Walk is one of more than 400 Out of the Darkness walks being held nationwide this year. “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.”

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