Walk to support suicide awareness this Saturday morning


Courtesy of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's website

Iowa State’s Student Counseling Services is partnering with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to hold an “Out of the Darkness” walk on campus Saturday to promote suicide awareness.

Nicole Hasek

Suicide took the lives of 552 Iowans in 2020, and awareness of this will be spread through Ames on Saturday during the Out of Darkness Suicide Awareness Walk.

Many Iowa State students, community members and supporting citizens will gather at the South Campanile Lawn on Central Campus at 9:30 a.m. to check in for the 4K walk. The walk begins at 10 a.m. and is being organized by the Student Counseling Services at Iowa State.

“The purpose of this event is to raise funds and awareness of the realities of suicide and offer support to those who have lost a loved one, struggle with their own depression or who have fought depression in the past,” said Michelle Roling, assistant director of Student Counseling Services.

The walk is nationwide, taking place in communities and college campuses across the country. The walks started in 2010, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and this will be Iowa State’s fifth year participating.

The walk will help fund prevention programs in communities, schools and universities, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Funding also helps research grants on test treatments and increases the understanding of suicide.

Wearing bead necklaces is encouraged for anyone who attends, as each color represents a different experience involving suicide.

White: Loss of a child

Red: Loss of a spouse or partner

Gold: Loss of a parent

Orange: Loss of a sibling

Purple: Loss of a relative or friends

Silver: Loss of a first responder or military

Green: A personal struggle or attempt

Teal: Supporting someone who struggles or has attempted

Blue: Supporting suicide prevention

To register for or donate to the walk, visit this link. Registration closes Friday but is not required to walk.