Walkers to Take to Penn College Streets to Fight Suicide

Suicide is the 10th-leading cause of death in the United States, yet it is preventable.

More than 250 participants from throughout Lycoming County are expected for the annual Out of the Darkness Greater Lycoming Walk at 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Registration begins at 4 p.m. for the fundraising walk, which supports the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’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.

“We walk to raise awareness about this important health issue,” said Mallory L. Weymer, coordinator of student health and wellness/suicide prevention specialist. “Suicide touches one in five American families. We hope that, by walking, we save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide.”

The Out of the Darkness Greater Lycoming Walk is one of more than 375 community walks held nationwide this year. The walks are expected to unite more than 250,000 walkers and raise millions of dollars for suicide prevention efforts. Last year’s Greater Lycoming walk raised more than $5,000 and had nearly 250 participants.

The walk will include the participation of community partners and offer opportunities to remember those who have lost their lives, provide support to those struggling with thoughts of suicide, and for the community to walk together in support of mental health education and awareness.

“These walks are about turning hope into action,” said Robert Gebbia, CEO of the AFSP. “Suicide is a serious problem, but it’s a problem we can solve. The research has shown us how to fight suicide, and, if we keep up the fight, the science is only going to get better, our culture will get smarter about mental health, and we’ll be able to save more people from dying from depression and other mental health conditions.”

Local sponsors for the Out of the Darkness Greater Lycoming Walk include Penn College. Anyone with questions or who is interested in sponsoring is encouraged to contact Weymer, who chairs the local walk.

For more about the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide, visit the organization’s website.

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

Pennsylvania College of Technology is a special mission affiliate of The Pennsylvania State University