Out Of The Darkness virtual walk for mental health awareness

By Ally Berens

As high school students, the suicide rate is relatively high. Knowing this heartbreaking fact, organizations like the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention step in with concern.

For the past 10 years the AFSP has been hosting many different events to raise money and awareness to avoid the percentage of suicide categories from increasing. The AFSP mainly reaches out to college campuses and high schools hoping to get their communities involved. The most recent event they hosted would be the Out Of The Darkness virtual walk. This is the first year that Huntley High School has been involved in an event like this.

“I have had positive responses from parents that have reached out, from students and from staff, just to share that they’re glad we’re doing this,“ Tami Broskow, one of Huntley High School’s social workers, said.

There are many parts to this event that have the community participating. The walk is probably the most intricate and detailed part of this event, allowing people to post and tag pictures using the #HopeWalksHere and color coding pins to show which component of mental health they would like to support.

Another aspect to this event would be the donations. Everyone who registers has opportunities to donate money for the fundraiser to fund this organization and help them continue to save lives through these events.

“We set a goal to raise $5,000 and we’ve already raised $2,600 which I think is really impressive for a first year event,” Broskow said.

Principal Marcus Belin sent out an email to students, notifying them of the walk. As well as this email, T-shirts were sold around the school for students and staff to show their support. The middle schools were even provided with some T-shirts to sell, showing more support throughout the community.

“I feel like I made an impact,” Broskow said.

In the future, people like Broskow have high hopes for what’s to come. More student and community involvement, advertising, and partnership with local businesses are some future ideas.