Nation’s Largest Suicide Prevention Organization Announces Physically Distant Version of Signature Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk
NEW YORK (January 25, 2021) – Today the nation’s largest suicide prevention organization, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, launched The Overnight Virtual Experience for the 2021 season. The annual event will be virtual to protect the safety and health of the community during this time of quarantine for COVID-19. This event marks the second time AFSP has led a Virtual Overnight to continue to honor loved ones lost to suicide and to support those who are struggling, and the 17th year the event has taken place.
“While we will miss getting together in person again this year – the hugs and support, the camaraderie, the tears and the laughter participants share with each other as they take the Overnight journey together – we must stay healthy and safe during the pandemic. We are confident that our participants will discover exciting new ways to connect with each other and their communities in this year’s physically safe version of The Overnight Virtual Experience,” said AFSP CEO Robert Gebbia. “In addition, The Overnight Virtual Experience will give more people than ever before the opportunity to join our special Overnight family. With no fundraising minimum, it's a great time to get involved and see what makes The Overnight such a life-changing experience for so many people, year after year, while helping us continue our mission, which is more important now than ever before.”
The Overnight Virtual Experience will offer a variety of options for people to participate, enabling participants to engage their friends and followers by fundraising and raising awareness for what is currently the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. Participants will pledge their time to participate in different activities of their choice, such as walking, running, journaling, reading, yoga, and more. Just as in previous years, each participant will be matched with a Walker Coach who will help them throughout the season, providing them with personal guidance and encouragement as they reach fundraising milestones, and measuring impact as they spread education, awareness and understanding about mental health and suicide in their communities. The Overnight Virtual Experience will culminate in an online event for participants on June 26.
The Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk, which first took place in 2002, is AFSP’s signature fundraising effort, enabling the organization to continue delivering education and loss support programs throughout its local chapters in all 50 states, as well as leading advocacy efforts for smart suicide and mental health legislation, and funding innovative research to discover how more lives can be saved. The Out of the Darkness Walks often serve as people’s first introduction to the organization, as they receive support for their experience and become involved as volunteers. Traditionally, participants in The Overnight have traveled from across the country to congregate in a host city, in which they walk together over 16 miles from dusk till dawn.
REGISTRATION: For those media interested in attending, to register and learn more, please visit: https://www.theovernight.org/
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.