Students and Staff Support Out of the Darkness Walk
Students and staff from Pacific’s Master of Social Work program and the School of Learning & Teaching took part in the Out of the Darkness Walk in Eugene, OR alongside more than 750 participants community members, to show their support for suicide awareness and prevention.
Professor Del Quest said, “I was overwhelmed by how many students, staff, and alumni showed up to the walk. I am so proud of the representation and engagement of the Pacific University community, taking the time to show up and be supportive and connected to the community.”
The community came together at Alton Baker Park to share stories of those lost to suicide and to raise awareness about and show support for those who struggle with mental health. A memorial garden displayed photos of loved ones while an honor bead ceremony paid tribute to the lives claimed by suicide.
Alexandra Reyes '20 MSW said, “This was the first time I had attended the Out of the Darkness Walk. I felt that the event was a really moving experience, being in the same space as so many people who have been affected by suicide.”
Wren Fulner ’21 MSW shared, “The honor bead ceremony that recognized all the ways people are touched by suicide was by far the most moving part of the event for me.
Pacific students, alumni, and staff raised $535 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), which coordinated the Out of the Darkness Walks across the nation. The Eugene event raised over $31,000.
AFSP has a goal of reducing the national annual suicide rate 20 percent by 2025.