The Olivet College Marching Band ishosting its rst ever Out of the Dark- ness Campus Walk. The Walk will be held April 14 at the Olivet College Campus Square. Registration for this event starts at 8 a.m., and the walk will beginat 9 a.m., ending at 11 a.m.
Walk Chairperson Abigale Smith,a sophomore, said, “Our Out of theDarkness Campus Walk is extremelyimportant because suicide is the second leading cause of death for ages 15-34, meaning it directly impacts us as college students, and unfortunately, our campus severely lacks mental health resources for students.”
The event is a project of Olivet College Bands and is being supportedby Band Director Jeremy Duby, as wellas Psychology Professors John Mooreand Elisa Geiss. It is being run through the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). Also speaking at the Walk will be AFSP area director Steve Windom and AFSP advocate Vicky Mennare.
According to AFSP, there will be more than 150 Out of Darkness walksnationwide this year. Another April walk is being held earlier in April, at the University of Michigan, accordingto the AFSP website.
As shown on the AFSP Olivet College website,
afsp.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.event&eventID=5191, the donationgoal for the walk is $5,000 and as of March 28, $5,325 has been raised, with 111 participants. More information, and registration, is also available through this website.
Smith said, “I am most excitedabout opening the conversation on mental illness and suicide prevention on campus, and showing students and the community that there is hope and support for them and that they’re not alone.”
Smith said, “This event is important because not only will it raise awareness to mental illness and suicide prevention, but with fundraising, we will hope-fully be able to implement Interactive Screening Programs (ISPs) on campus for students. These are anonymous online stress test students can take, which will then put them in contact with a counselor through messaging whose job is to simply listen to them and support them and then offer help to the student if the student wants and/or needs it. Overall, this event is important because it can save lives and help thosea ected by mental illness and suicide.”