Out of the Darkness

Hundreds of people gather at Mingus Park in Coos Bay for the second-annual Out of the Darkness Suicide Awareness Walk in 2019. This year, the event will be held virtually.

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COOS COUNTY — "In the era of COVID-19, as we all try to protect our mental health and cope with uncertainty, it’s more important than ever that we be there for each other and take steps to prevent suicide," said Lance Nelson, chief invovation officer at Waterfall Community Health Center.

To that end, residents from across Coos County will be joining the thousands of people who are gathering in towns across the United States to draw attention to the suicide prevention movement. The Coos County Out of the Darkness Experience, hosted by the Oregon Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and Waterfall Community Health Center will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, found on the web at www.afsp.org/cooscounty. This virtual gathering will support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s education and support programs and its bold goal to reduce the annual U.S. rate of suicide 20% by the year 2025. Funds raised will also assist suicide prevention efforts across many agencies in Coos County.

“Suicide touches one in five American families. By connecting and sharing our stories with each other, we will keep going in the fight to stop suicide. Together, our community sends the message that you are never alone, that healing is possible, and when we connect, we create hope. Together we keep going,” said Nelson, who is the Coos County event chairperson and Oregon AFSP chapter president for.

The Coos County Out of the Darkness Experience is one of hundreds of events being held nationwide this year. The online event will feature stories of local families who have lost loved ones to suicide and bring hope to those struggling today.

“We can all learn new ways to help each other save lives,” said AFSP CEO Robert Gebbia. “By joining an Out of the Darkness Experience, you can show people that we are strong, we are resilient, and we are hopeful. Together, we can create a culture that’s smart about mental health.”

Local sponsors for the Coos County Out of the Darkness Experience include Waterfall Clinic, Bicoastal Media, Coos Health and Wellness, River’s Edge Behavioral Health, Gibs RV Superstore, North Bend Medical Center, United Way of Southwestern Oregon, Bay Area Hospital and Consolidated Electrical Distributors.

To donate or join this event, visit www.afsp.org/cooscounty.

About AFSP

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. AFSP creates a culture that’s smart about mental health through education and community programs, develops suicide prevention through research and advocacy, and provides support for those affected by suicide. Led by CEO Robert Gebbia and headquartered in New York, AFSP has local chapters in all 50 states with programs and events nationwide. Learn more about AFSP in its latest Annual Report, and join the conversation on suicide prevention by following AFSP on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

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