Out of the Darkness Community Walk Oct. 17

Yates County Suicide Prevention Coalition
Hundreds of people will join the fourth annual Keuka Lake Out of the Darkness Community Walk, hosted by the Yates County Suicide Prevention Coalition (YSPC) and Western N.Y. chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). This year, the walk will be held at noon Sunday, Oct. 17 at Keuka Lake State Park.

Walkers to gather at Keuka Lake State Park in-person and online to fight suicide

PENN YAN − Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, yet suicide can be prevented. To spread this message of hope, hundreds of people will join the fourth annual Keuka Lake Out of the Darkness Community Walk, hosted by the Yates County Suicide Prevention Coalition (YSPC) and Western N.Y. chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). The walk, previously known as the Yates County walk, will be held at noon Sunday, Oct. 17 at Keuka Lake State Park.

“Suicide touches one in five American families,” said Beth Habberfield, co-chair of the YSCP Advisory Committee and 2021 Keuka Lake Walk. “When we do outreach events, people often ask: Does that really happen here?? The answer is ‘Yes.’ We hope that by connecting with one another across our rural counties, we will draw attention to this issue and keep other families from experiencing a suicide loss. Our ultimate goal is to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide.”

The Keuka Lake Out of the Darkness Community Walk is one of hundreds of events being held nationwide this year, with the option to participate in person or online. This gathering supports the AFSP’s national education and support programs, which provide free, evidence-based prevention education and training programs; materials; resources; and administrative support directly to the YSPC.

There is no cost to participate in the Keuka Lake Out of the Darkness Walk, but it is a fundraiser to support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s (AFSP) education, research, and survivor support programs. The Yates Suicide Prevention Coalition – which is not county-funded – directly benefits from funds raised at the walk.

Since 2018, AFSP funds have allowed the coalition to present the “Talk Saves Lives” suicide awareness program to more than 70 community members; present the “It’s Real” mental health and suicide prevention program to students at Keuka College; train seven community members to be Talk Saves Lives facilitators, as well as presenters for “More Than Sad,” a program for teens; and to provide free suicide prevention outreach, materials, and resources to the community.

To date, local sponsors for the Keuka Lake Out of the Darkness Community Walk include: Penn Yan Elks Lodge #1722; Seneca Foods Foundation; Uniland Development Company; Mark & Deb Malcolm; KanPak LLC; Custom Pest Control LLC; Tioga Downs Racetrack; Bishop, Johnson & DeSanto Funeral Home; Coach and Equipment Manufacturing; D&E DJ Service; Hampton Inn Penn Yan; Best Western Plus Vineyard Inn & Suites; Climbing Bines Hop Farm & Brewery; The Switzerland Inn; A-Verdi Storage Containers. To donate or join this event, visit: www.afsp.org/KeukaLake.

The Yates Suicide Prevention Coalition envisions a community in which individuals choose to use skills and resources as an alternative to suicide. We partner with Yates County schools, agencies, providers, businesses, government; and individuals to address suicide prevention and awareness; make meaningful use of data; and become a hub for suicide prevention and survivor support resources. Connect with us on Facebook: @YatesSuicidePreventionCoalition

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. AFSP has local chapters in all 50 states with programs and events nationwide. Learn more at www.afsp.org.