WASHINGTON, March 16, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Suicide is a serious issue for Washington, D.C., on average one person dies by suicide every 11 days in the District. To help stem this tragic loss of life, the nation's largest suicide prevention organization, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is proud to announce that more than a thousand people are now registered for the Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk in Washington, D.C. The event is from June 17-18, 2017.
The Overnight is the largest annual fundraising event held by AFSP. Participants from across the country walk more than 16 miles beginning at sunset, and through the night, to raise money and awareness for suicide prevention. Money raised from the walks support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. AFSP funds research, creates educational programs, advocates for public policy, and supports those affected by suicide.
"We must do more to prevent suicide in our country. To ensure this happens, AFSP set a bold goal to reduce the rate of suicide 20 percent by 2025, but we know that we can't do this alone," said AFSP CEO Robert Gebbia. "Because of our dedicated Overnight walkers, who walk all night to raise awareness and funds for suicide prevention, we are optimistic that we will achieve our goal and save tens of thousands of lives."
Each walker raises a minimum of $1,000 to participate in the Overnight Walk. Since its inception in 2002, nearly 35,000 people have participated in an Overnight Walk, over 7,000 people have volunteered, and over $40 million has been raised to support the cause. The first Overnight walk was held in Washington, D.C. and again in 2013, where 2,136 people walked and more than $2.7 million raised. This is the third time that the Overnight will be in Washington, D.C.
The Overnight theme for this year focuses on raising public awareness by answering the question "I Walk Because…" To register for the Overnight go to theovernight.org/register.
Suicide in Washington, D.C.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death for people ages 15-24 in Washington, D.C. Suicide cost Washington, D.C. a total of $53,227,000 of combined lifetime medical and work loss cost in 2010, or an average of $1,298, 219 per suicide death.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. AFSP creates a culture that's smart about mental health through education and community programs, develops suicide prevention through research and advocacy, and provides support for those affected by suicide. Led by CEO Robert Gebbia and headquartered in New York, AFSP has local chapters in all 50 states with programs and events nationwide. AFSP celebrates 30 years of service to the suicide prevention movement. Learn more about AFSP in its latest Annual Report, and join the conversation on suicide prevention by following AFSP on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
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SOURCE American Foundation for Suicide Prevention