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Walk aims to educate students, community about suicide prevention

HIGHLANDS RANCH – This weekend Highlands Ranch High School will host a big walk to remember loved ones lost due to suicide and to stop students and others from taking their lives in the future.

This is the third year of the local Out of the Darkness Community Walk. In the first two years, the walk raised a total of $170,000, which was used for suicide prevention and awareness, including programs in the Douglas County School District. This year organizers hope to raise $112,000.

Out of the Darkness Walk
When: Saturday September 8.
Registration begins at 9 a.m.
Opening Ceremonies 9:45 a.m.
Walk 10 a.m. - Noon
Where: Highlands Ranch High School, 9375 Cresthill Lane in Highlands Ranch

Organizers say 490 people have already signed up for this year’s walk.

The 2.9-mile walk is free to join, but participants are encouraged to work towards raising a minimum of $150. The money is used to fund the following programs at local schools to help students and staff members learn how to recognize suicide warning signs and how to properly intervene with at-risk individuals:

• More Than Sad: Teen Depression education program to High Schools in multiple school districts

• Sources of Strength – peer leader/suicide awareness training at multiple High Schools

• Interactive Screening Program for the University of Colorado Boulder

• safeTALK & ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) suicide awareness trainings at the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Highlands Ranch Substation & other locations to the community at large in the fall of 2011 & throughout 2012

Proceeds also benefit the AFSP to fund scientific research, offer educational programs and promote policies and legislation that impact suicide prevention.

For more information on this year’s walk or the AFSP, please visit www.afsp.org orhttp://afsp.donordrive.com/event/southmetro.

There will be a silent auction at the event as well as more opportunities to donate. To donate $10 by text message, please text AFSP DENVER to 85944.

The walk will kick off the Douglas County School District’s Suicide Prevention Week, which will be marked this year with videos that address the problem.

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