Sorority brings the issue of suicide to light with “Out of the Darkness” walk

NSU and the Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority (LTA) will host the “Out of the Darkness Suicide Prevention Community Walk” Nov. 18 at 9 a.m, to benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).

ASFP is the nation’s leading not-for-profit organization dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research, education, and advocacy. The organization also helps people with mental disorders and those impacted by suicide.

Priscilla Aguilar, sophomore marketing and management major, who serves as LTA’s community service chair and event chair, said, “The purpose of the walk is to honor the memory of loved ones lost to suicide.”

The walk is meant to raise awareness and prevent suicide. According to the Center for Disease Control,  a person dies by suicide every 15 minutes in the U.S., claiming more than 36,000 lives each year. It is estimated that a suicide attempt occurs every minute, with close to one million people attempting suicide annually. Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. among adults 18 to 65, and the second leading cause of death among teens and young adults.

Scott Poland, co-director of the Office of Suicide and Violence Prevention at NSU, said, “NSU has been a leader in suicide prevention with the creation of the Office of Suicide and Violence Prevention, and through sponsoring prevention efforts such as the Out of Darkness Walk and the Florida Initiative for Suicide Prevention annual conference.”

Poland said, “NSU received a federal grant for suicide prevention that has enabled the Office of Suicide and Violence Prevention to create training videos to raise suicide prevention awareness and to train clinical students on suicide assessment and intervention.”

Lambda Theta Alpha has fundraised over $16,000 this year towards this cause. They aim to raise $30,000 and expect 700 to 1000 participants at the walk this year.

Jason Krumenaker, walk coach for AFSP, said, “Although participants are encouraged to fundraise for the event and given plenty of fundraising tools, there is no registration fee or fundraising minimum for the ‘Out of the Darkness Community Walks.’ ”

Said Augilar, “The walk will hopefully impact NSU and let them know that it is okay to seek counseling if necessary to help understand and cope with a lost loved one.”

“The walk was started by one of our sisters, Lorena Cabrera, in 2008 and been successful ever since. [LTA] was interested in starting the walk because several of my chapter sisters were impacted by suicide in high school and with family.”

To learn more about AFSP’s mission, research and programs, visit www.asfp.org. For more information about the “Out of the Darkness Community Walk” at NSU, visit www.outofthedarkness.org , call (954) 262-7482, or email Priscilla Aguilar at pa308@nova.edu.

Leave a Reply