Local Walkers Part of National Movement to Fight Suicide

Published 09.07.2018

Student News
Faculty & Staff

Hundreds of people from throughout Williamsport are anticipated to take part in the 10th annual Greater Lycoming Out of the Darkness Community Walk hosted by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Central Pennsylvania chapter and Pennsylvania College of Technology.

The event will be at Penn College on Saturday, Sept. 15, with registration starting at 4 p.m. and the 90-minute walk at 5.

Walkers, many of them clad in Wildcat blue, fill the Penn College mall during 2017’s Ouf of the Darkness event. (Photo by Rachel A. Eirmann, student photographer)Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, yet suicide is preventable. This fundraising walk supports the AFSP’s local and national education and advocacy programs and its bold goal of a 20 percent reduction in the annual rate of suicide by 2025.

“Suicide touches one in five American families,” said Mallory L. Weymer, chair of the local walk and Penn College’s coordinator of student health and wellness/suicide prevention specialist. “We hope that, by walking, we will draw attention to this issue and keep other families from experiencing a suicide loss. Our ultimate goal is to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide.”

Anyone wishing to participate in the walk can sign up or donate at online.

The Greater Lycoming Out of the Darkness Community Walk – which last year raised nearly $15,000 through about 450 participants – is one of more than 550 such events being held nationwide. The walks are expected to unite more than 300,000 people and raise millions of dollars for suicide prevention efforts.

“These walks are about turning hope into action,” said Robert Gebbia, CEO of the national association. “The research has shown us how to fight suicide, and if we keep up the fight, the science is only going to get better and our culture will get smarter about mental health. With the efforts of our courageous volunteers, and a real investment from our nation’s leaders, we hope to significantly reduce the suicide rate in the United States.”

For more about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.