Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce

Westfield State University to host Out of the Darkness Campus Walk

CONTACT: Troy Watkins,, 413.572.5523

Westfield – Westfield State University will host an Out of the Darkness Campus Walk on April 27 in conjunction with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) organization. The event will take place on the University’s campus green from 10 a.m. to noon.

Sponsored by the AFSP, Out of the Darkness Campus Walks are held at numerous colleges, universities, and high schools nationwide to bring awareness to mental illness struggles while highlighting suicide prevention and awareness through hope, support, and fostering a sense of community. The title of the Westfield State Campus Walk is “Hope Walks Here,” and will occur during the University’s Spring Weekend/Owl Bash.

Check-in begins at 9:30 a.m. Participants will be provided with “Honor Beads” necklaces, color-coded to represent loved ones lost to suicide or loved ones struggling with mental illness. The “Honor Beads” also recognize participants who have struggled with mental illness or have attempted suicide in the past, as well as participants who stand as allies with the cause and those affected.

Funds raised prior to and during the campus walk benefit the AFSP by supporting groundbreaking research, creating educational programs, inspiring advocacy for public policy legislation, and helping survivors of suicide loss cope with its aftermath. Donors who raise $100 or more will receive an official Out of the Darkness Campus Walk T-shirt. Participants and donors additionally benefit the AFSP’s goal to reduce the annual suicide rate by 20 percent by 2025.

Online event registration is available at and closes at noon Friday, April 26. Participants can also register the morning of the walk during the Registration/Check-In period. Donations are welcomed until June 30. The AFSP encourages participants to use the hashtag #OutoftheDarkness on social media to rally support for the cause outside of the walk.  

For more information, contact Lyndsey Nunes at 413-387-3770 or email   

Founded in 1839 by Horace Mann, Westfield State University is an education leader committed to providing every generation of students with a learning experience built on its founding principle as the first public co-educational college in America to offer an education without barrier to race, gender or economic status. This spirit of innovative thinking and social responsibility is forged in a curriculum of liberal arts and professional studies that creates a vital community of engaged learners who become confident, capable individuals prepared for leadership and service to society.

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