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Olivet College to Host Fifth Annual Out of the Darkness Campus Walk

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On Saturday, March 26, 2022, Olivet College will host the fifth annual Out of the Darkness Campus Walk. The event is sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and focuses on raising awareness of suicide and mental health issues. To date, Olivet College’s events have raised nearly $50,000. The funds are used for mental health resources, including resources for students on OC’s campus.

“The walk is meant to spread awareness and provide support for those affected by suicide. It is important because we need to erase the negative stigma surrounding suicide in order to offer better prevention and help those in need,” said senior Victoria Herson, walk chairperson. “I am passionate about this event because I believe that no one should have to suffer from poor mental health when there are 24/7 resources available to help. We need to have more open conversations about suicide so society can be better informed about their own mental health as well as the health of others. I want others to know that this is an ongoing issue that does not stop after our ceremony is over every year. We must keep doing our part to stay connected to the cause, having those tough conversations and getting involved with other AFSP events.”

The Out of the Darkness Walk begins at 10 a.m. and is open to all. There is no cost to participate, but online pre-registration is encouraged at www.afsp.org/olivetcollege through Friday, March 25 at noon. In-person registration will also be available at the walk on March 26 from 8:30-10 a.m. Donations are being accepted online now through June 30, 2022.

Olivet College clubs, organizations, academic programs, teams or other student groups are encouraged to register as a fundraising team. The team who raises the most money will receive a pizza party celebration. Other special features of the walk include a silent auction and a partnership with Paws for Prevention offering dog bandanas for $10.

“Holding the Out of the Darkness Campus Walk each year shows our students and the rest of our community that we take the issues of suicidality and mental health very seriously,” said John Moore, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology. “It demonstrates that we are not afraid to address this very sensitive issue, and it helps us to show everyone that hope exists, and that help and support are available. As painful as this subject is to talk about, it is profoundly important that we continue to talk about it, and that we remove the stigma from being open about our mental health needs.”

The AFSP has become a national leader in the fight against suicide by funding research, creating educational programs, advocating for public policy and supporting survivors of suicide loss. The organization collaborates with high schools and colleges across the nation to host campus walks, bringing together a community focused on suicide prevention thousands-strong. According to the AFSP website, suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, but it is the second leading cause of death for those between the ages of 10 and 34, meaning college students and young adults are in the most affected age group. The AFSP dedicates 80 cents of every dollar raised to funding research and educational programs.

For more information about the Olivet College Out of the Darkness Campus Walk, contact Victoria Herson at vherson@olivetcollege.edu. Learn more about Olivet College by contacting the Office of Admission at 800-456-7189 or admissions@olivetcollege.edu.

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