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USM School of Psychology Hosting Out of the Darkness Campus Walk March 26

Wed, 03/09/2022 - 11:17am | By: David Tisdale

You are enough, just the way you areThe annual University of Southern Mississippi (USM) Out of the Darkness Campus Walk, hosted by the Mississippi chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and organized by USM School of Psychology students, faculty and staff, will be held Saturday, March 26 at 10 a.m. with registration at the Bruce and Virginia Wilgus Fitness Trail located next to the Payne Center on the Hattiesburg campus.

This event will support the AFSP’s education and support programs and its goal to reduce the annual U.S. rate of suicide 20 percent by 2025.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, yet suicide can be prevented. Volunteers from USM and throughout the Hattiesburg community will join thousands of people gathering across the United States to draw attention to the fight for suicide prevention.

In addition to raising awareness and funds to fight suicide, the Walks give those who attend a chance to connect with others and know they are not alone, whether they walk in memory or in support of a loved one, or in honor of their own mental health journey.

USM School of Psychology faculty member Dr. Randy Arnau, a member of the event’s planning committee, says he’s motivated to do his part to make the event a success as suicide has touched his own life with the loss of loved ones and through his support of close friends who have dealt with suicidal thoughts and survived suicide attempts. 

“I know from a scientific point of view that interventions for suicide work, and I also have seen personally the devastation and heartache when a loved one dies by suicide,” Dr. Arnau continued. “The American Foundation for Suicide prevention leads the fight against suicide.  They fund critical research that will improve suicide prevention outreach and treatment for those at risk for suicide – last year ASFP funded over $4.5 million dollars in suicide prevention research.”

Individuals can register to join an existing walk team, or they can create their own team.  Sponsorships are also available. For more information visit or the event’s Facebook page at

If you are in crisis, please call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or text TALK to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.