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Thank you for support of Out of the Darkness

To the editor:

Suicide is a national public health crisis in the United States and the nation’s 10th leading cause of death and the 11th leading cause of death in Pennsylvania. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) works to bring together suicide prevention advocates to prioritize suicide prevention and mental health.

Locally, the first Sunday of every October has been proclaimed by the Huntingdon, Mifflin and Juniata County Commissioners to be Suicide Awareness and Prevention Day. Sunday, Oct. 3 the Juniata Valley held its annual Out of the Darkness Walks at Detwiler Field-Huntingdon and Kish Park-Lewistown.

Walkers do make a difference! The Walk Committees wish to recognize agencies, businesses, individuals and teams who contributed and supported our efforts to share the importance of Mental Health Awareness and Suicide Prevention Education. Together, we can change the conversation about mental health and put a stop to this tragic loss of life.

With the greatest appreciation, we thank Alltrista, River Church of Juniata County, Guante Cafe & Guante Family Restaurant, Juniata County Commissioner Alice Gray, Community Care Behavioral Health, REBOOT Recovery, Mifflin-Juniata Human Services, Mifflin-Juniata Regional Services, Juniata Valley Tri-County Drug & Alcohol Abuse Commission, SKILLS-Juniata County Drop In Center, SKILLS-The Journey Goes On, East End Coffee Co., Taste of the Valley, Down Range Tavern, Shy Bear Brewing, Vince’s Pizza & Family Restaurant, The Brooklyn Boyz, ZTM Rental, Mifflin County Library, Service Access and Management, Inc., Community Services Group, Juniata Valley Behavioral & Developmental Services, The Shelter, The Meadows, CenClear, Clarion Psychiatric Center, Foundations Behavioral Health, Peerstar, Wellspring Counseling Services, Angel Jackson’s Counseling Services, Center for Community Resources, Lewistown Police Department Co-Responder-Kristen Wiser, Veteran’s Administration, Geisinger-Lewistown Hospital, Primary Health Network, Lerch RV, Weis Markets-Mifflintown & Burnham, Giant-Lewistown & Burnham, Amy Koenig-The Day of Hope, Fame EMS, Altoona Curve, State College Spikes, Center for Community Action, Broad Top Medical Center, AmeriCorps VISTA, VFW-Standing Stone, VFW-Saxton, VFW-Mount Union, Huntingdon Little League Association, Downtown Joe, Standing Stone Coffee Company, Wayne Filson, Peggy Royer, The Wreath Lady-Melinda Fisher, ColorUpLife-Karyn Debrasky, Juniata Valley Healing Connections, and all teams and walk participants.

This grassroots work focuses on eliminating the loss of life from suicide by: delivering innovative prevention programs, educating the public about risk factors and warning signs, raising funds for suicide research and programs, and reaching out to those individuals who have lost someone to suicide. Visit afsp.org or our county walk Facebook pages.

Lisa Bollinger

Out of the Darkness Walks

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