Community is the heart of the Annapolis Out of the Darkness Walk. For 12 years, thousands of people have been participating in the annual event to show that it’s important to talk about mental health and suicide. The Out of the Darkness Walks are the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s (AFSP) signature fundraiser, but the walks are so much more to those participating.
The Annapolis Out of the Darkness Walk is proof that no matter what your personal connection to the cause is, you are not alone, that people care, and that you belong. It offers a safe space to honor those we have lost to suicide, uplift those who have been impacted by suicide, and encourage those who face a personal struggle to keep going. The Out of the Darkness Walks are one of the few places you can look around and know that people truly understand your experience, simply by the honor beads they wear or the names they have on their shirts indicating for whom they walk. The walks allow participants to ride a roller coaster of emotions through tears, laughter, moments of reflection, and hugs, and then walk away from the crowd knowing there is hope.
The Out of the Darkness Walks are also a call to action. Funds raised at the walk help AFSP to continue its mission to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide. Eighty cents of every dollar donated are used to fund critical scientific suicide research, develop and deliver suicide prevention programs to communities across Maryland, advocate for local and national public policies like the recent implementation of the 988 Lifeline, and support for survivors of suicide loss through AFSP’s Healing Conversations peer-to-peer program.
Help create a culture that is smart about mental health and suicide prevention. Register for the annual Annapolis Out of the Darkness Walk on September 17 at 9 AM at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Join us for a day of community support, healing, sharing stories, and creating an impact to save lives.