Thank you

As the leader in the fight against suicide, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has been able to set a goal to reduce the annual suicide rate by 20 percent by 2025. When you participate in one of the 350 Out of the Darkness Walks nationwide, you join the effort with hundreds of thousands of people to raise awareness and funds that allow AFSP to invest in new research, create educational programs, advocate for public policy, and support survivors of suicide loss.

The 11th Annual Mid-Ohio Valley Out of the Darkness Walk for Suicide Prevention was held on Sept. 22, 2018, at the Parkersburg City Park. Approximately 490 walkers gathered together to help raise awareness, support loved ones, and reduce the stigma on mental illness, depression and PTSD. Walker and sponsor donations this year have approached $39,500. Thank you. for all your hard work. The monies raised will be used to fund Survivors of Suicide Loss Support Groups across WV, mental health first aid training, ASIST Intervention training, school programs for prevention and awareness, state advocacy, as well as SafeTALK and Talk Saves Lives training programs. 82 percent of all monies raised go back into the research and prevention programs offered through AFSP. 40 percent of the money raised at each local walk is returned to WV, and the community, for support, education, prevention and awareness. It’s up to walkers like us to make a difference. Together we can change the conversation about mental health and put a stop to this tragic loss of life.

I would like to extend a grateful thank you to the 2018 Out of the Darkness Honor Bead Recipients, your voice matters and your stories helped so many in attendance. We couldn’t do this without our committee chairs and volunteers-thank you for your endless efforts to make this event grow and reach those that need us most. I would like to also genuinely thank our sponsors, Parkersburg Orthopedic Associates, Smoker Friendly, Black Bear Burrito, Bodylogic, Counseling and Wellness Center, Kiger Insurance Agency, McCarter Health Center, Coplin Clinic, 618 Sign Studio, One Community Federal Credit Union, McHappys, and Westbrook Health Services. Your support brings hope to all of us that know firsthand the effect suicide loss and depression has on our community.

Top fundraisers include: Scott Davisson, Teresa Phillips, Jackie Scott, Jason Ferrebee, and Lacy Workman. Top Team Fundraisers include: Team Amos, Team BHU/CCMC, Haynes Gang, Walking with Christian, and Ty’d to the Heart. Thank you for your effort and passion.

To our return teams, new walkers, and return walkers, THANK YOU for making a difference, being the voice, and for your continued support! You bring light into the darkness and are changing lives. Because of you we are making it happen.

We would also like to extend a special thank you to Parkersburg Orthopedics and Counseling and Wellness Center. We were under new guidance this year and their businesses were not reflected upon our t-shirts. These two businesses have been with us since the beginning, we could not do it without them.

Liz Ford and Dr. Heather McCarter

Mid-Ohio Valley Walk Chairs