Out of The Darkness Walk Taking Place on Saturday at Goleta Beach
Suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States and the 14th leading cause of death in California yet suicide can be prevented. Walkers and volunteers from Santa Barbara County are joining the thousands of people who are gathering in towns across the United States to draw attention to the fight for suicide prevention.
The annual Santa Barbara Out of the Darkness Community Walk, hosted by the Greater Los Angeles and Central Coast Chapter will be held on Saturday, October 14, 2023 – Check In: 9am / Ceremony & Walk: 10am at Goleta Beach Park, Goleta, CA. This Community awareness and Fundraising walk supports the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s education, research, and survivor support programs. In addition to raising awareness and funds to fight suicide, the walks give those who attend a chance to connect with others and know they are not alone, whether they walk in memory or in support of a loved one or in honor of their own mental health journey. “
“Suicide touches one in five American families. We hope that by connecting with one another, we will draw attention to this issue and keep other families from experiencing a suicide loss. Our goal is to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide,” said Kelly Manning, AFSP Special Events Manager, Greater Los Angeles and Central Coast Chapter.
Suzanne Grimmesey, MFT and PIO/Chief of Strategy and Community Engagement at our Walk Sponsor, Santa Barbara County Department of Behavioral Wellness, will Emcee our event. Our walk will also welcome Local Community Members, Authors, and Loss Survivor Speakers Harry and Jenny Bruell to share their journey after the death of a loved one by suicide.
The Santa Barbara Out of the Darkness Walk will highlight a special guest, Singer/Songwriter, Kate Vogel. A Passionate Advocate for Mental Health, Kate will share her connection as an Attempt Survivor with a few words prior to performing her song, “Reasons to Stay”, a viral success reaching over 20 million streams.
The Santa Barbara Out of the Darkness Community Walk is one of the hundreds of events being held nationwide this year. “This year we want people to join us in walking to create a world without suicide,” said AFSP CEO Robert Gebbia. “By walking you are helping AFSP make progress in prevention through research, advocacy, education and support to those affected by suicide. I’m in awe of our courageous volunteers who are lifting their voices to inform local and national leaders of the support needed to reduce suicide and save lives.”
The Santa Barbara Out of the Darkness Community Walk is also a space of healing and a place to have honest conversations about mental health. The more we openly and directly talk about suicide, the more we can help to prevent it. In spring 2023, AFSP launched a campaign called Talk Away the Dark. The campaign PSA shows the impact of simple, direct dialogue about suicide and how to initiate those conversations to save lives. Explore the campaign and what more you can do to make a difference by joining a local AFSP chapter, learning more about suicide, and advocating for legislation supporting prevention. To donate to this Santa Barbara Community Walk Event, visit www.afsp.org/santabarbara. To volunteer with us on Walk Day, 10/14/23, locate the “Volunteer at the Event” link on our walk page www.afsp.org/santabarbara.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide, including those who have experienced a loss. AFSP creates a culture that’s smart about mental health through public education and community programs, develops suicide prevention through Out of the Darkness™ Walks | Communications Toolkit 9 research and advocacy, and provides support for those affected by suicide. Led by CEO Robert Gebbia and headquartered in New York, with a public policy office in Washington, DC, AFSP has local chapters in all 50 states, DC, and Puerto Rico, with programs and events nationwide. Learn more about AFSP in its latest Annual Report and join the conversation on suicide prevention by following AFSP on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.