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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Activities & Organizations

Fundraiser walk hopes to boost suicide awareness, healing


The Out of Darkness campus walk at 10 a.m. Sunday in Lynn Eusan Park should provide interactive opportunities for attendees to memorialize loved ones lost to suicide. | File Photo/The Cougar

Students and members of the University of Houston community are encouraged to come to Lynn Eusan Park on Sunday for a day of exercise, healing, discussion and suicide awareness.

The UH Wellness Center is collaborating with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention for the fourth annual Out of the Darkness campus walk. According to the event’s website, money raised at the event will help AFSP create educational programs, continue research and advocate for public policy.

The event, beginning at 10 a.m. Sunday, will feature a discussion on the importance of suicide awareness and the work being done by AFSP, personal testimonies from UH students and a symbolic memorial garden and dove release. According to UH Wellness’ website, the activities are meant to help those who may have lost a loved one to suicide find solace in the grieving process.

“It’s not something that they have to struggle with alone,” said UH Wellness Center Director Patrick Lukingbeal, who planned the event. “We are committed to creating an environment that helps them and supports them while they are students here.”

The goal of the event is to provide a safe space for students to grieve and find resources on campus, Lukingbeal said.

The Wellness Center has set a fundraising goal of $20,000, which has mostly been raised by individuals and team participants. Though students are encouraged to fund raise in any way they can, no financial contribution is required to participate in the walk.

Several other campus communities will be supporting and participating in the event, including the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers, Greek organizations and the Counseling and Psychological Services.

Students and community members are encouraged to participate in the event in any way they can. Individuals can register for the walk on the Wellness Center website or the morning of the event.

“At the end of the day what we’re really trying to do is bring awareness and start a conversation and dialogue about suicide,” Lukingbeal said.

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