This year, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) Out of The Darkness Fuquay-Varina Community Walk, will be held on September 24th, 2017, at South Park and The Jeff Wells Environmental Greenway in Fuquay-Varina. Lisa Hoover and De O’Brien, Co-Chairs of the Walk, explain what the Walk’s purpose is and why they started it 5 years ago in the below promotional video RyePoint created.

Lisa and De lost their brothers to mental illness/suicide. One of the reasons they started this walk was to help raise awareness about the frequent connection between mental illness and suicide. After losing their brothers to suicide, they wanted to help at least one person find help either through treatment or support after a suicide loss. In order to accomplish this, they partnered with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the #1 non-profit in the country for suicide prevention, education, research, advocacy and public policy.

The Out of the Darkness walks help raise the money necessary to fund the suicide prevention programs held all over North Carolina and the United States. De and Lisa believe the programs that have been held in Fuquay-Varina have helped train the community about suicide warning signs and prevention skills.  To date, those training include: Two ASISTs (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training); One SafeTALK; and One “Lunch and Learn” for clergy and lay people. This year the Survivor Outreach Program (SOP) was added in North Carolina (and nationwide). This program is staffed with loss survivors who volunteer their time to talk with other loss survivors who have reached out for help. They listen and connect them with available resources that can help them through the grieving process. More programs are being planned for this fiscal year so stay tuned!

It’s not too late to register for this year’s Walk. Click on the link below to register and/or donate (securely). It’s a fun, uplifting day that is family friendly!  There will be face painters, FREE Zaxby’s food for all Walk participants and a live band!


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