Out of the Darkness walk aims to break fundraising record

The annual walk raises money for suicide prevention


Kelly Kiernan - The State Hornet

Participants of the Out of the Darkness Walk hold signs as they walk to the residence halls on April 12, 2018. This year’s event aims to raise $22,000 for suicide prevention.

Francina Sanchez

This year Sacramento State will host its eighth annual Out of the Darkness walk on April 11.

Every spring, the Out of the Darkness walk takes place at different high school and college campuses all over the nation to raise money for suicide prevention. This year’s theme is Hope Walks Here.”

“This year, we have a goal to have the largest Sac State campus walk and remain the largest campus walk in the nation for the third year in a row,” said Sac State health educator Lara Falkenstein in an email.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) holds these events for student fundraising to bring awareness to young adults on mental health and suicide prevention. This includes research, educational programs and survivors of suicide loss.

AFSP describes the walk as “a time to acknowledge the ways in which suicide and mental illness have affected our lives and our loved ones.”

According to the AFSP website, suicide is the second leading cause of death in people ages 15 to 24. The foundation has set a goal of reducing suicide rates by 20 percent by 2025.

Last year the Sac State event raised more than $16,000 according to Sac State’s Facebook page. This year the goal is $22,000.

“For the past two years, Sacramento State has hosted the largest Out of the Darkness campus walk in the nation,” Byrd said in an email.

“The Sacramento State campus community has continued to support the Out of the Darkness campus walk in large numbers each year speaking to how our campus and Hornet family really supports one another.”

RELATED: Students walk for suicide prevention

Participants can register online as individuals or as teams that can choose a color to represent a personal connection to the cause that helps bring together people with similar experiences.

Participants have the option of donating online by cash or check when they sign up to register.

The registration deadline is Friday at noon, but the AFSP will be taking donations through June 30.

Check-ins will begin at 4:00 p.m. at The WELL, where the walk will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.