By: Jillian Lontz
DOVER, Del. – On Saturday, members of the Wesley College and Dover community gathered at Silver Lake Park to participate in The Out of Darkness Walk hosted by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).
The goal of the community walk is to "promote awareness about suicide and raise money to fund suicide prevention programs throughout the state," said Dr. Albee Mendoza, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Wesley.
Wesley's involvement in the initiative began last year when Dover hosted its first walk. Under the leadership of nursing instructor Margaret McElligott, Wesley's first outing had a group of 30 including faculty, staff and students from the nursing, occupational therapy, and psychology programs.
"This year, over 50 members of the Wesley College community, including the Wesley women's lacrosse and women's soccer teams, the Psi Chi Psychology Honor Society, as well as students from a variety of majors, came out to Saturday's event. Through their efforts, over $795.00, from members' own funds and from generous donors across campus, was raised for this cause," said Dr. Mendoza.
The Wesley athletic programs that participated made a large impact in the second year of the Out of Darkness Walk. "Having the women's lacrosse and women's soccer teams come out with other Wesley College students, faculty, and staff at this year's walk demonstrated to the community that Wesley College considers this cause as important and that all students can benefit to hear the message," said Dr. Mendoza.
The women's lacrosse team participates in many community service activities over the year, but this was the first time participating in a community walk.
"We do a lot to help the community, but we have never done something that helps bring attention to such a huge epidemic," said senior attacker Brianna Bacon, "if us walking for this cause helps bring awareness and is able to get someone who is suffering the information they need then we as a program are happy to do what we can."
To find out how you can help in suicide prevention please visit https://afsp.org/.