The annual event raises money for AFSP to spread education and awareness around suicide and suicide prevention.
The Campus Recreation & Wellness SPARKS Peer Educators will host their second Out of The Darkness Walk on Sunday, April 16. The walk is sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).
The annual event raises money for AFSP to spread education and awareness around suicide and suicide prevention. Kelsey Baron, graduate apprentice for Campus Recreation and Wellness and second-year student in Elon’s Master of Higher Education program, brought the Out of The Darkness Walk to Elon after seeing a need for more conversations around suicide.
She never could have imagined the impact the walk would have, however. Donations came in from local businesses, faculty, friends and more. Sigma Phi Epsilon donated all of the proceeds from a week long philanthropy event. Last year at the inaugural walk, Elon raised over $22,000, placing them 14th in the nation for funds raised, and they are looking to top that number this year.
The walk begins with a resource fair and ceremony in Medallion Plaza where Elon community members are invited to learn more about the resources available to support student mental health and how every individual can contribute to ending suicide on college campuses.
After the opening ceremony, community members are invited to walk together throughout campus while making new connections and reflecting with others on how suicide has impacted their lives. Along the way, walkers have the option to walk through the “Out of The Darkness Art Gallery: An Elon Student Collective.” Students can submit visual art of any form whether it be poetry, painting, drawing, etc. as long as it relates to the topic of mental health. Art is healing, and the SPARKS Peer Educators made this gallery a part of the event to honor that healing work.
If you would like to submit a piece of art for the gallery, please submit the form here. To register for or donate to the Out of The Darkness Walk, go to AFSP.org/Elon.
We hope to see you at Medallion Plaza on April 16! The resource fair starts at 1 p.m. and the opening ceremony begins at 2 p.m.