SUNY Potsdam Hosts Suicide Awareness Walk for Campus & Community


SUNY Potsdam will host an Out of the Darkness Campus Walk to raise awareness about suicide, on Saturday, April 12 at 11 a.m., starting and ending in the College's new Performing Arts Center.

The campus walk is sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and will raise funds and awareness for AFSP's vision of creating a world without suicide.

Registration will begin at 9:30 a.m. on April 12 in the Performing Arts Center Lobby. During registration time, people can decorate luminaire bags, decorate bandanas for a future quilt, pick up information about suicide, depression and resources, take part in the silent auction, or buy T-shirts, bracelets and more to support the walk.

Guests are welcome to register the day of the event, and no donation is required to participate. The walk will be held, rain or shine.

The Out of the Darkness Campus Walk will begin at 11 a.m. and take a one- to two-mile loop around campus before returning to the Performing Arts Center around 12:30 p.m. There will be a short ceremony following the walk.

The ceremony emcee is Mary Jones, from Hospice and Palliative Care of the St. Lawrence Valley, who is the director of the St. Lawrence County Suicide Coalition. Alicia Clifford, the sister of SUNY Potsdam student Jeffery Kimball, who was lost to suicide, will also speak.

There will also be a rally the night before, on Friday, April 11 from 7 to 8 p.m. in the Knowles Conference Center. There will be snacks, mocktails, music, luminary and bandana decorating, and the winner of the campus Penny War will be announced.

In the United States, a person dies by suicide every 14 minutes, claiming more than 38,000 lives each year. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for college students, and the third leading cause of death for youth, ages 15 to 24. Thousandsof students nationwide take part in Out of the Darkness Campus Walks each year, to raise money for AFSP's vital research and education programs, to prevent suicide and save lives, to increase national awareness about depression and suicide and provide support for survivors of suicide loss.

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Founded in 1816, and located on the outskirts of the beautiful Adirondack Park, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America's first 50 colleges. SUNY Potsdam currently enrolls approximately 4,300 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its handcrafted education, challenging liberal arts and sciences core, excellence in teacher training and leadership in the performing and visual arts. Empowered by a culture of creativity, the campus community recently launched Take the Lead: The Campaign for Potsdam, which aims to raise $27 million by the College's bicentennial in 2016.