Mercer County, Ohio – October 19, 2017 – People from throughout Mercer County are participating in the upcoming Out of the Darkness Community Walk on Saturday, October 21.  The fundraising walk supports the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) by helping to support local and national suicide prevention and awareness programs.

The Mercer County, Ohio Out of the Darkness Walk is one of nearly 250 Out of the Darkness Community Walks ( being held this fall nationwide.  The walks are expected to unite more than 100,000 walkers nationally and raise money for suicide prevention efforts.  The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is a 501(C) (3) Charitable Organization.

committee member James Byron

“Our hopes are that this walk will not only help raise funds for research, but help people understand suicide and it’s affects on family and friends.  It will also help local people affected by suicide loss and support our survivors by providing support groups and more.”

The Mercer County Ohio community walk will begin at Mercer County fairgrounds at 8:00 am for registration and end at approximately noon.  Opening Ceremonies will begin at 9:00 am and the walk officially starts at 9:15 am.

Margie Griesdorn

“It is not necessary to walk the entire time, come when you can, leave when you must, but your support is desperately needed.”

It is estimated that close to 1 million Americans make a suicide attempt, more than 36,000 die by suicide, and more than 20 million suffer from depression each year.  In Mercer County, over the last five years, over 50 people have lost their lives to suicide, more than 300 people have threatened suicide, and nearly 280 people have attempted suicide.  This walk is to bring awareness and hope for those who struggle with life.

This fall, thousands will be walking to raise money for prevention and awareness, and offer hope to the millions of people who have lost a loved one to suicide or who battle personally with depression, bipolar illness, addiction and other mental illnesses.