GALLERY: Walk raises mental health awareness, remember victims of suicide

Sacramento State urges students to use mental health resources.


Alyssa Branum

The Out of the Darkness Campus Walk commences through the pathways at Sacramento State Thursday, April 6, 2023. Staff from Student Health Counseling Services in The WELL and Vice President of University Affairs, Alexandra Estrella lead the group.

Alyssa Branum

The Out of the Darkness Campus Walk at Sacramento State April 6 brought the community together to raise awareness of suicide prevention.

Hornets swarmed to show support at the 12th annual walk at the university. 

The event was facilitated by Student Health and Counseling Service health promotion specialist  Ali Orlando and other staff along with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Participants of the event were smiling while playing with bubbles and Stress-Less Puppies, making posters and speaking with multiple resource staffers tabling outside The WELL. 

Attendees said they were thankful for the opportunity to rely on one another concerning the stigmatized topic in mental health. 

President Robert S. Nelsen said he is a supporter of utilizing resources to prevent suicide, urging others to recognize the signs in their loved ones.

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Nelsen was also honored at the event for “bringing the topic of suicide out of the dark,” Orlando said while presenting the award.

“It’s very important to me that we talk about suicide and don’t hide it,” Nelsen said. “It is important that we accept those who are survivors, but we also that we help prevent those who may be on a pathway towards destruction.”

Students at the event, like English major Hannah Pierce, urged those dealing with suicidal thoughts to talk to someone and not let fear prevent them from leaning on others.

Students can find mental health help by calling or texting 9-8-8 for National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Other resources can be found on the SHCS website.

“If you are in that moment and you are considering calling someone, absolutely call them,” Pierce said. “No one will be angry with you or disappointed; they are just going to be happy you called.”