Walkers Take To The Streets To Prevent Suicide


suicidepreventionSuicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, yet suicide is preventable. More than 1,500 people from throughout Valley are expected to participate in the annual Out of the Darkness Community Walk at 10am on December 5, at Tempe Kiwanis Park. This fundraising walk supports the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s (AFSP) local and national programs and its bold goal to reduce the annual rate of suicide 20 percent by 2025.

“We walk to support those who suffer from mental health conditions and raise the money for research and prevention programs that will save lives,” says Brian Snyder, Arizona Chapter Chair for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

The Phoenix Out of the Darkness Walk is one of more than 350 Out of the Darkness Community Walks being held nationwide this fall. The walks are expected to unite more than 150,000 walkers and raise millions for suicide prevention efforts.

“These walks are about turning hope into action,” says AFSP CEO Robert Gebbia. “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.”

Based on most recent 2012 data from the CDC, Arizona ranked number 10 in terms of number of completed suicides. That equated to 1,156 deaths by suicide in 2012. Suicide is the eighth leading cause of death overall in Arizona. On average, one person dies by suicide every eight hours in the state. Suicide cost Arizona a total of $1,246,006,000 of combined lifetime medical and work loss cost in 2010, or an average of $1,139,987 per suicide death. Almost three times as many people die by suicide in Arizona annually than by homicide; the total deaths to suicide reflect a total of 22,361 years of potential life lost (YPLL) before age 65.

For more information, call 888.333.2377 or visit www.afsp.org. If in crisis, call 1.800.273.8255.

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