Please join hundreds of us as we walk in unified solidarity to erase the stigma around suicide and mental illness and as we help those in need on Saturday, Oct. 5, at Oakledge Park-Upper Shelter (Flynn Ave.) in Burlington at 8:30 a.m.
In Vermont, there is a suicide every three days, there were 118 deaths last year, it is the eighth leading cause of death in the state, and the second for those aged 15-44. Between 1996-2016, our state’s suicide rate went up 48 percent – that’s the second-highest increase nationally.
When you walk in the Out of the Darkness Walks, you join the effort across the nation with hundreds of thousands of people to raise awareness and funds that allow the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to invest in new research, create educational programs, advocate for public policy and support survivors of suicide loss at a local level.
Thanks to this incredible effort, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has been able to set a goal to reduce the annual suicide rate 20 percent by 2025.
We extend heartfelt thanks to our generous local sponsors, including Almartin Volvo, Pet Food Warehouse, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Vermont, Vermont Suicide Prevention Center, the Sports Car Driving Association, The University of Vermont Medical Center, Heritage Ford and Toyota, and Green Mountain Harley-Davidson. Please join us and share this with everyone you know. And if you know of anyone in immediate crisis, please have them call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Let them know they are not alone, they are precious to so many and there is hope. We are united for them and for a world without suicide!
Ashley Prout McAvey