Thursday, October 21, 2010

Saturday event: Fundraiser walk for suicide prevention


Department of Mental Health

550 S. Vermont Avenue

Los Angeles, California 90020

Marvin J. Southard, D.S.W.,



William T Fujioka

Chief Executive Officer




For Immediate Release

CONTACT: Kathleen Piché, LCSW

(213) 738-4041







LA County Department of Mental Health and Local Organizations Come Together In Support Of Los Angeles County Fundraising Event



LOS ANGELES, CA OCTOBER 21, 2010 – Nonprofit organization American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is set to enjoy an outpouring of support from local special interest groups at their Los Angeles County Out of the Darkness Walk fundraiser this Saturday, October 23rd at Santa Monica City Hall, starting at 9:00am and ending at the same location at approximately 11:30am.


Mental health resource programs including the LA County Department of Mental Health and Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services are among the groups attending the October 23 walk. Outreach programs such as Teen Line and Trevor Project are also slated to attend. The groups will be available to answer questions, discuss suicide prevention, and most importantly, to provide much-needed resources to walk participants who may need assistance.


“The Out of the Darkness Walk is extremely important.  We at Teen Line are particularly concerned about teen suicide and the need to prevent teens from reaching such a state of hopelessness that they see no alternative to their misery than to choose suicide to relieve their emotional pain.  Recent focus on bullying, particularly among gay teens, is just one precipitant to teen despair and Teen Line wants youth to know that we are there to help no matter what the issue is.  Teens can reach us by phone, email or live chat through our website   We are happy to support the Walk again this year...” said Dr. Elaine Leader, Executive Director of Teen Line.


The Angel City Derby Girls, a local competitive roller derby team, will be on hand to pump up the crowd. The squad will serve as walk leaders, skating through the duration of the walk route.


"The Angel City Derby Girls pride themselves as positive athletic female role models.  We appreciate the opportunity to be part of such a great event and to support the work of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  It is a vitally important cause and we are excited to be participating.   We hope all our fans and supporters will join us at the walk and during our 2011 season in Culver City." says Ms. D'fiant, Gaming Director and a veteran with Angel City.


“On behalf of everyone at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, words cannot express how grateful we are to all of the groups who are coming together in support of our mission. They are truly our guardian angels!” said Laura Levinsky, Area Director for AFSP.


It is estimated that close to 1 million Americans make a suicide attempt each year, and a person in the United States dies by suicide every 15 minutes. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among teens and young adults and the second leading cause of death for college students. 


The Los Angeles community walk will begin at Santa Monica City Hall at 9:00am and end at the same location at approximately 11:30am.  In addition to AFSP supporters Mark and Shirley Ballas from Dancing with the Stars, a large celebrity turnout is anticipated. Gary Bryan from K-EARTH 101 will serve as the Master of Ceremonies for the event with Actress/Author Mariette Hartley and Actor/Writer Jerry Sroka hosting.


About the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:


The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is the leading national not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research, education and advocacy as well as to reaching out to people with mental disorders and those affected by suicide.  For more information please visit





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