Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, yet suicide can be prevented. Volunteers from Charlotte, North Carolina and surrounding areas are joining over 350,000 nationwide to draw attention to the fight for suicide prevention. The annual Charlotte Out of the Darkness Community Walk hosted by the NC Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) will be held Saturday, October 12 at 2:00pm at Romare Bearden Park in uptown Charlotte. This walk supports AFSP’s education and support programs and its bold goal to reduce the annual US suicide rate by 20% in 2025. “At AFSP we believe in connecting people to saves lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide. Suicide is a public health crisis. It’s the 10th leading cause of death, and we can all have a role in preventing it. By uniting in this common goal to stop suicide, we are stronger together and have done much this year to educate the public about suicide prevention, advocate for public policies to advance our mission, and fund innovative research to save lives,” said AFSP CEO, Robert Gebbia. The Charlotte Out of the Darkness Community Walk is one of more than 600 Out of the Darkness Overnight, Community, and Campus Walks being held nationwide this year and is the state’s largest walk dedicated to suicide prevention. The walks are expected to unite more than 350,000 walkers and raise millions for suicide prevention efforts. Last year these walks raised over $25 million for suicide prevention, with Charlotte’s walk raising over $135,000 and having nearly 1,500 participants. Speakers at the Charlotte Out of the Darkness Community Walk will include local media personalities, public officials, and individuals personally impacted by suicide. Local mental health resources will also be shared. “The AFSP Out of the DarknessWalks enabled a large community of suicide loss survivors and those who struggle to connect with one another, so no one has to be alone. Over 350,000 people participated in our Community, Campus and Overnight Walks, spreading awareness and raising funds for the cause. This sense of connection throughout the United States is only growing stronger,” said AFSP Chair, Board of Directors Steve Siple. We hope you can join us for this life saving mission and help change the dialogue surrounding mental health.