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American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to host ‘Out of the Darkness Walk

From the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

The WKU American Foundation for Suicide Prevention will host the Out of the Darkness Walk on April 13.

The walk begins outside of the Mahurin Honors College and International Center, with registration beginning at 11 a.m. and the walk beginning at 11:30 a.m. There will be time for participants to visit information tables and connect before the walk.

Gabriel Heckerman, senior biology major and campus chair, founded the walk in the spring of 2022.

“I started working with AFSP and brought the walk to our campus after losing someone very important to me to suicide,” Heckerman said. “My hope in doing this was to support those I love who have been affected by suicide and to spark conversation on the topic to let people know they are not alone.”

Heckerman said that he believes the walk provides a system of support for those who have been affected by suicide.

“Suicide is a horrible thing, and nobody wants it to affect them or the ones they love,” Heckerman said. “When it comes to supporting those affected by suicide, the best way to do so is by letting them know that they are not alone and that there are people that care and want to help.”

The walk unites a large group of people passionate about supporting those who have been affected by suicide. The conversations created make a lasting difference in people’s lives, Heckerman said.

Students unable to attend can create a free fundraising page through WKU AFSP. The funds raised go towards supporting the cause, such as funding mental health research and resources for those in need. 

Leading up to the walk, WKU American Medical Student Association and Sigma Nu fraternity are sponsoring the AFSP fundraising week.

Heckerman says that he hopes that the walk and AFSP engagement will continue past his time as campus chair.

“Throughout my time as campus chair, there have been so many people that have reached out eager to help support the organization,” Heckerman said. “Being a senior on campus who is graduating this semester, I will be passing off the campus chair role to another passionate student. I hope that students will continue to reach out and engage with the organization so that it continues on campus for as long as possible.”

For registration and to find out more, visit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention website. Any questions and concerns can be directed to Heckerman at [email protected].

News Reporter Shayla Abney can be reached at [email protected].

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