Suicide prevention organization hosts third annual walk

The walk raised thousands of dollars to support families affected by suicide.

Delta+Phi+Epsilon+led+the+walk+through+the+Housing+Lawn+and+toward+the+east+side+of+campus+for+the+annual+Out+of+the+Darkness+campus+walk.+Alexander+Rodriguez+%7C+News+Editor
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Suicide prevention organization hosts third annual walk

Delta Phi Epsilon led the walk through the Housing Lawn and toward the east side of campus for the annual Out of the Darkness campus walk. Alexander Rodriguez | News Editor

Delta Phi Epsilon led the walk through the Housing Lawn and toward the east side of campus for the annual Out of the Darkness campus walk. Alexander Rodriguez | News Editor

Delta Phi Epsilon led the walk through the Housing Lawn and toward the east side of campus for the annual Out of the Darkness campus walk. Alexander Rodriguez | News Editor

Delta Phi Epsilon led the walk through the Housing Lawn and toward the east side of campus for the annual Out of the Darkness campus walk. Alexander Rodriguez | News Editor

Alexander Rodriguez, News Editor

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A parade of students and local residents walked the Boca campus Sunday morning to show support and share stories about loved ones lost to suicide.

The third annual Out Of The Darkness suicide prevention walkーin collaboration of the FAU Counseling and Psychological Services and FAU Dean of Studentsーraised more than $14,000 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP.)

“I think everybody that comes to the walk has in some way shape or form been touched by suicide,” Florida area Director for AFSP Tara Larsen said.

According to the AFSP website, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. More than 44,000 americans die each year from suicide.  

Lake Worth resident John Dimenna (left) and his wife Tina (right) wrote a note for his son that committed suicide in 2011. This was their first event they have ever attended that raise awareness about suicide. Alexander Rodriguez | News Editor

Lake Worth resident John Dimenna lost his son to suicide in 2011. He and his wife, Tina,

wrote a note for their son that read “miss you pal!” on the “I am Walking For…” billboard sign. This was the first suicide prevention walk they’ve attended.

“We wanted to support everybody,” Dimenna said. “More importantly anybody that is thinking about [suicide] that there is an outreach program for them to reach out and ask for help.”

Participants raised nearly all of the $15,000 goal, members of the FAU Delta Phi Epsilon raising the most money for the cause.

The FAU Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), a mental health outreach program for students, faculty, and staff, tabled at the event.

“The services of CAPS are free and confidential and professional,” said Rhonda F. Seiman, Suicide Awareness and Prevention Coordinator. “Really the idea of this walk is to raise awareness.”

Seiman, who is also a licensed psychologist, mentioned FAU is part of a statewide initiative to prevent suicides in Florida.

Participants walk down Diversity Way toward the east side of campus during the Out of the Darkness campus walk on Sunday morning. Alexander Rodriguez | News Editor

FAU freshman engineering major Erika Herrera attended the event hoping to spread a message of support for people who struggle with depression and suicide.

“Hold on to any support of self love that you have because that’s what is really going to save you at the end,” Herrera said. “This is a beautiful world and I also know it’s a dark world but it’s worth holding out for.”

Alexander Rodriguez is the news editor of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet @AARodriguezz93