On average, 121 suicides a day occur in the United States. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, this statistic makes suicide the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. AFSP’s mission is to reduce nationwide suicide rates by 20 percent by the year 2025.
To help combat this statistic, Baruch College’s Honors Student Council is organizing a Baruch team to participate in the annual “Out of the Darkness” walk hosted by the AFSP. The walk will take place on Oct. 22 at Wagner Park in Battery Park City and will be from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The group is expecting a turnout of almost 1,000 people at the walk. Nationwide there are 415 walks with about 250,000 walkers in total.
Baruch’s team is spearheaded by Gabriela Dotel, vice president of volunteering in HSC. The walk is open to all and it is not necessary to be a part of the council. The goal of the walk is to raise money to go toward funding research and educational programs for mental health awareness and suicide prevention. The walk also aims to provide support to family and friends of those who have committed suicide and those who have attempted suicide.
HSC has fundraised for and participated in the “Out of the Darkness” walk for four years. The first year it participated in the walk was in honor of a Baruch student who committed suicide. In commemoration of him and to help anyone else going through the same experiences, his family, friends and professors came together to make a team. Their goal aligned with the thousands of other participants who wished to help someone else out of the darkness in which they find themselves.
To join the cause and help the Baruch team reach its $1,000 goal, visit afsp.donordrive.com/team/154270. One can either register to walk or donate money to help with the fundraiser.