The Chatham Township Committee today announced that in its continuing efforts to raise awareness of suicide prevention it will host its 3rd Annual Chatham Township Out of the Darkness Community Walk on Saturday, September 22nd at 4:30 PM to benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). The event will take place, rain or shine, at Cougar Field located at 320 Shunpike Road in Chatham Township. Participants can register as an individual, or as a team, by visiting www.afsp.org/chathamtwp. Individuals are also encouraged to ‘Like’ the Walk’s Facebook page at http://bit.ly/29SsLI9.
Chatham Township Mayor Curt Ritter, speaking on behalf of the Committee, said, “In recent weeks we have seen an increased awareness of suicide following the deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. Unfortunately, they are but two of the nearly 45,000 Americans who die by suicide each year. Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, and the 11th leading cause of death overall in New Jersey. Recently, the School District of the Chathams reported in their Critical Issues in Student Wellness report that 102 high school students and 50 middle school students had seriously considered attempting suicide. The time to act is now, and we hope that our ongoing efforts to shed a bright light on this important issue will help bring greater awareness of suicide prevention and raise much-needed funds for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
“We are grateful for the support of the community who has helped to make the Chatham Township Walk one of the largest Out of the Darkness Walks in New Jersey, raising more than $150,000 over the past two years. I encourage all residents, young and old, to consider participating and getting involved. While suicide does not discriminate, it is preventable and together we can make a difference.”
Individuals and local businesses that have an interest in sponsoring the Chatham Township Out of the Darkness Community Walk can learn more at https://bit.ly/2MtpyST.
The Chatham Township Out of the Darkness Walk is one of more than 375 Out of the Darkness Community Walks being held nationwide this year. Hundreds of individuals from throughout Morris, Essex, and Union counties are expected to participate in the Chatham Township Walk, which will supports the AFSP’s local and national education and advocacy programs and its bold goal to reduce the annual rate of suicide 20 percent by 2025.
As part of its efforts to educate and inform its resident on suicide awareness and prevention, the Chatham Township Committee has hosted a series of community forums, “Talk Saves Lives,” in conjunction with the AFSP. Individuals can view replays of the presentations on the Township online video library at http://www.chathamtownship-nj.gov/chatham-township-video-library.
About The American Foundation For Suicide Prevention
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. www.afsp.org
Gregory J. LaConte