Campus Walk Shines Light on Suicide Prevention
On Sunday, March 25, 241 students, faculty, and community members participated in the Out of the Darkness Walk, an effort that raises funds and awareness for the Western New York Area chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).
The walkers raised more than $10,000 for AFSP, which provides educational programs, support programs, and outreach across the community in addition to promoting research and advocacy for suicide prevention.
“The walk isn’t all about raising money. It’s about saving lives and bringing hope to those who have been personally affected by suicide. It’s about raising awareness and breaking stigma about mental health and suicide,” said Tara Sacco, a visiting assistant professor in the Wegmans School of Nursing, who is the lead organizer for the event. “We are able to bring people together to raise awareness and connect. I’m so glad that this is something we can bring to Fisher and the community.”
The walk was organized by representatives from the Student Nurses Association, the Mental Health Counseling program, Health and Wellness Center, NAMI on Campus, and Meg’s Gift, a non-profit organization that advocates for mental health interventions. Representatives from Meg’s Gift, AFSP, NAMI on Campus, Veterans Outreach Center, and the Health and Wellness Center also hosted tables to provide information about mental health services and support.
The walk is organized thanks to the work of committee members Doug Bufano, Bethany Dreyer, Keran Zmora, Melissa Bourne, Anne Kraft, Ellen Lapointe, Mollie Sullivan, Shelby Brost, Becky Kieffer, Kelly Hynes, Julianne Lush, Ashley Jackson, MacKenzie Dowdle, and Blair Darcy. Kate Danesh from the Office of Reservations and the staff at the Office of Safety and Security were also instrumental in organizing the walk, as was Missy Stolfi, WNY AFSP’s area director, and Karen Heisig, WNY AFSP board member and Rochester Community Walk chair.