Rasmussen College Fargo/Moorhead campus focused on supporting the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s “Out of the Darkness” Walk Sept. 21 as part of its September Diversity Committee initiative.
About 1,000 community members—including staff and faculty from the Fargo/Moorhead campus—took part in the 3-mile walk. Many participants adorned themselves with colored beads to signify who they were honoring and supporting during the event, whether it was a parent, spouse, child, friend or themselves.
The Fargo/Moorhead campus was one of the top fundraisers for Out of the Darkness last year, with over $400 donated, and the campus more than doubled that amount this year with close to $900 in donations.
“The diversity committee tries to think outside the box when deciding on events to participate in,” said Chad Lystad, Fargo/Moorhead campus student advisor. “On our campus, diversity means ‘differences in experience,’ and those suffering from anxiety and depression are certainly experiencing their world in a different way than the rest of the population.”
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) raises money for suicide research and prevention efforts across the United States. Suicide claims over 39,000 lives a year, and a suicide attempt is made every minutes of every day, according to AFSP. The walks help raise awareness about depression and suicide, as well as honor the lives lost to them.
“The event is a fairly quiet and supportive one,” Lystad said. “It’s not sad, but more hopeful, and it’s extremely moving to see the level of support the attendees and participants have for the people that have experienced suicide in their families.”
In addition to taking part in the walk, participants are welcome to visit with various research organizations and counseling services during the event.
The college supports many different events and organizations across the nation. Read about how the college teamed up with the Minnesota Twins to grant a Minnesota boy’s Make-A-Wish request.