QUEENSBURY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – At the end of April, the SUNY Adirondack community is joining a nationwide movement. The college will participate in its third annual Out of the Darkness Walk for suicide prevention.

The walk will embark from the college Office of Health and Wellness at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 29. Every year, walks are held across the country to raise money for suicide prevention efforts by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, as well as awareness of suicide statistics and what it takes to save a life.

“We want to raise awareness of this issue, to help prevent other families from experiencing a suicide loss,” said SUNY Adirondack mental health counselor and assistant professor of counseling Holly Irion. “This walk is a really inspiring way to show that no one is alone in the battle against suicide.”

Nationally, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention aims to reduce the annual U.S. suicide rate by 20 percent by 2025. Data from the foundation reports suicide as the 10th most common cause of death in the United States. It touches one in every five families in the U.S.

SUNY Adirondack represents one of over 550 groups signing on to walk “Out of the Darkness” this month. Last year’s campus event saw over 100 participants and $10,000 raised for suicide prevention, among 300,000 walkers and $21 million across the country.

“These walks are about turning hope into action,” said Robert Gebbia, CEO of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. “The research has shown us how to fight suicide, and if we keep up the fight, the science is only going to get better and our culture will get smarter about mental health. With the efforts of our courageous volunteers, and a real investment from our nation’s leaders, we hope to significantly reduce the suicide rate in the United States.” 

Those who want to walk with SUNY Adirondack can register online. Registration will remain open until 10 a.m. on the day of the walk.