CHATHAM, NJ -- September 22, 2019 marked the Fourth Out of the Darkness Community Walk to bring awareness to mental illness and suicide prevention. The walk was held in Chatham and Team Berkeley Heights was there to support the event because of the impact suicide has on everyone. The walk raises awareness and funds for the American Foundation to Prevent Suicide, AFPS, to support their programs locally and nationally.

AFSP has Five Core Strategies in their campaign against suicide:

  • Fund scientific research
  • Offer educational programs for professionals
  • Educate the public about mood disorders and suicide prevention
  • Promote policies and legislation that impact suicide and prevention
  • Provide programs and resources for survivors of suicide loss and people at risk, and involve them in the work of the Foundation

“If we can save one person, for one more day, we have succeeded” commented BH team member Manny Couto. Other team members were walking for lost friends and to simply bring awareness to the issue of suicide prevention in our youth. “This walk helps to bring awareness and open the dialogue to help prevent suicide, especially in our youth. It is important that we support the walk because suicide impacts everyone” mentioned Michelle Grecco, also from Team Berkeley.

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The event began in 2015 as an initiative started by Chatham resident and then Mayor Curt Ritter. Every year the event continues to grow and in 2019 over 400 walkers participated raising awareness and over $90,000, making 2019 the most successful event ever. More information on this event and the AFSP can be found online at www.afsp.org

Video production by Dr. Donald DeFabio and directed and created by Lucinda Hayes.