This April, Join the Walk for Suicide Prevention

March 21, 2024

St. John Fisher University students, faculty, staff, and teams from Nazareth University and Roberts Wesleyan University will join the effort to raise awareness about suicide prevention during the Out of the Darkness Campus Walk. The event begins at 10 a.m. on Sunday, April 14, in Cleary Family Auditorium in Kearney Hall on the Fisher campus.

A banner promoting the Out of Darkness walk hangs on the Wegmans School of Nursing.

The Out of the Darkness Campus Walk at Fisher is part of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s (AFSP) signature student fundraising series. These campus walks engage youth and young adults in the fight to prevent suicide. The walk’s fundraising goal this year is $10,000. Funds raised support research, create educational programs, and support survivors of suicide loss.

Dr. Christopher Noel, associate professor in the Wegmans School of Pharmacy, has been involved with the walk at Fisher since it started in 2017 and believes it is an important way to lessen the stigma around mental health issues. “I think events like the AFSP campus walks work toward life-saving stigma reduction. If we can show our support for people who experience suicidality, this may help them feel more comfortable opening up about it.”

The walk is led by Fisher’s JED campus initiative, a collaborative process that studies, assesses, and recommends comprehensive systems, programs, and policies to build upon existing resources for student mental health, substance misuse, and suicide prevention.

Student Liz Gass ’24 has been part of the planning committee and spoke at the walk last year. She expresses a desire for people to become more knowledgeable about suicide.

“I had the privilege of sharing about my experience helping to save a friend from suicide. I think the topic of suicide is sensitive but incredibly important, and any attempt to raise awareness and show support is a huge step in the right direction,” Gass said.

Additional campus partners include the Wegmans School of Nursing, Wegmans School of Pharmacy, Office of Campus Ministry, Office of Student Engagement and Leadership, Health and Wellness Center, and Student Government Association.

To join the walk or donate to the effort, visit the event website.

If you or someone you know is in a crisis, help is available. Please call the National Suicide and Crisis Hotline at 988 or text TALK to 741-741.