"Suicide is a public health issue that does not discriminate by age, gender, ethnicity or socio-economic status, and it takes an enormous toll on family, friends, co-workers and the entire community," explained Kelly Shaw, touchstone coordinator at the UMaine Counseling Center. "Often there is a lot of shame and stigma around this topic, so this is an important part of our effort to make sure people know how they can help their loved ones or help themselves."
AFSP also provides an anonymous web-based stress and depression screening that is available for UMaine students. Once they take the screening, students can dialog with a counselor. "For people who might be nervous about coming to the Counseling Center, this helps remove a barrier. It's another way for students to access us if they are struggling," said Shaw.
Anyone who would like to participate in the walk may form a team or register individually by visiting www.outofthedarkness.org and clicking on "Find an Event Near You" to join the Orono walk. You can also donate to the walk directly from this page.
Or participants can register the day of the walk starting at 1 p.m. on the mall in front of Fogler Library. There will be a brief ceremony honoring the memories of those who have been lost to suicide and the strength and resilience of those who mourn loved ones who died by suicide. The walk officially begins at 2 p.m., proceeding south along College Avenue and through downtown Orono before returning back to campus via Rangeley Rd.