The Out of the Darkness Suicide Awareness Walk. Movement of a quarter of a million people joined by local participants in Ocean City, MD.
Ocean City, MD − Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, yet suicide can be prevented. Volunteers from Worcester County are joining the quarter of a million people who are walking in towns across the United States to draw attention to the fight for suicide prevention. The 8th annual Out of the Darkness Walk, hosted by the Worcester County Health Department (WCHD) will be held on Saturday, September 21, 2019. As in years past, walkers will gather at Caroline Street and the Boardwalk, with registration beginning at 9am. After opening remarks, the procession will walk to the Inlet, turn and walk to 5th Street, then back to Caroline Street.
Several local organizations, including staff from the WCHD, use the funds generated by walkers to spread suicide awareness and prevention education in Maryland and Delaware’s coastal communities, where suicide rates are historically high. Pledges collected by walkers and other walk supporters contribute to the work of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the leading national organization doing suicide research and suicide prevention outreach.
“The Out of the Darkness Walk convenes a message of hope, community, and resiliency,” said Christen Barbierri, Local Care Team Coordinator for Worcester County Local Management Board. “We are able to bring the conversation about the importance of behavioral health out of the darkness, and into the light.”
Leading up to the Out of the Darkness Walk, participants are encouraged to share their stories on social media using #WhyIWalk to place a spotlight on the fight against suicide. To learn more about the Ocean City Out of the Darkness Walk, to raise your personal pledge team, or to pledge on behalf of an existing team, visit http://afsp.org/oceancity.
For information on the Celebration of Life event hosted the night before the walk, please contact Jackie Ward at 410-632-1100 ext. 1049. The Celebration of Life event is for those that would like to honor their loved one who has died by suicide. It is located at the Red Doors Community Center, at 10959 Worcester Highway Berlin, MD 21811.
Are you or someone you know having thoughts of suicide? You are not alone, and help is available. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-877-273-8255 or text the Crisis Text Line at 741741 for free and confidential support.