September is Suicide Awareness month and during this month the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention South Central New York Chapter (AFSP) is holding two fundraising walks this month. On September 20, SUNY Delhi is hosting an "Out of the Darkness Delaware County Walk " and then on September 26, Oneonta is hosting what is called an "Out of the Darkness Oneonta NY Experience" at the 6th Ward Booster Club Field.

Neither event to raise funds for AFSP South Central New York Chapter will be a traditional, full-on walk as in years past. According to organizers, at the Delhi event on the 20th there will be an extended in-person, drop-in experience where participants stop by The SUNY Delhi G Lot to pick up their t-shirt and goodies, connect with the event committee, and participate in some self-guided stations, all while following state and local guidelines. And then at the Oneonta Experience, there will be an in-person, drop-by experience where participants stop by the Oneonta 6th Ward Booster Club Field, pick up their team's goodies, connect with the event committee, and participate in some self-guided stations, all following state and local guidelines. The change in the two events reflects  the Governor's mandates and guidelines for events during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following the two events, on October 17, all registered participants are invited to connect and share this collective journey of hope and healing by doing a Chapter wide virtual event and walk. The walking can take place wherever you like best.

AFSP CEO Robert Gebbia says, “These walks are about turning hope into action. The research has shown us how to fight suicide, and if we keep up the fight, the science is only going to get better and our culture will get smarter about mental health. With the efforts of our courageous volunteers, and a real investment from our nation’s leaders, we hope to significantly reduce the suicide rate in the United States.”

Organizers urge participation in either event since this year is especially important as a great many people are struggling with depression and anxiety compounded by stressors due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Make sure to check the latest information on both events at afsp.org/chapter/south-central-new-york#events.

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