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Illinois Chapter of American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Receives Top Awards at National Leadership Conference


Chicago, IL – The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) Illinois Chapter was awarded Outstanding Chapter of the Year among large markets and took first place in Out of the Darkness Community Walks for its 2014 Chicagoland Community Walk at the 2015 AFSP National Leadership Conference.

The Outstanding Chapter recognition acknowledges amazing work in local communities and overall excellence in education, outreach, research and fundraising.

“I am humbled by the dedication of our volunteers, walkers, donors, advocates and mental health professionals across the state of Illinois that have earned this prestigious honor,” said AFSP Illinois Area Director Rachelle Jervis. “The recognition validates their relentless efforts to end suicide and save lives.”

The Illinois Chapter also took first place among 325 Out of the Darkness Community Walks for the fifth consecutive year. The Chicagoland Out of the Darkness Community Walk convened more than 5,300 walkers and raised $ $766,553.95 for suicide prevention education and research last September.

“The record numbers achieved at the 2014 Out of the Darkness Chicagoland Community Walk, in terms of number of walkers as well as funds raised, make a statement that suicide prevention and mental health initiatives are a primary public concern in the state of Illinois and that the time has come to bring these topics into conversation and ‘Out of the Darkness,'” said Chicagoland Walk Co-Chairperson Erika Barber. “This recognition is such an honor and is indicative of a reality where mental health and suicide can be discussed without the stigma these topics so often carry.”

The 2015 Chicagoland Out of the Darkness Community Walk takes place on Sept. 26 at Grant Park in Chicago, Ill. To register or for more information, please visit www.ChicagoWalk.org.

About American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is the nation’s leading organization bringing together people across communities and backgrounds to understand and prevent suicide, and to help heal the pain it causes. The not-for-profit organization is exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research, education and advocacy.

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