ATU Community Shows Support for Suicide Prevention

Approximately 250 walkers participated in the 2023 Out of the Darkness suicide prevention walk at Arkansas Tech University on Saturday, April 15.

The event raised $11,868 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and pushed the cumulative total for ATU’s Out of the Darkness walk to more than $125,000 raised. The ATU Health and Wellness Center has been involved with the program since 2014.

“We are so honored to be able to host this event on our campus every year and to welcome our community partners,” said Amy Pennington, ATU associate vice president for student affairs, dean of students and Title IX officer. “It’s a special day for us always. Arkansas Tech University is committed to supporting healthy environments, campus mental health and community mental health. This work is pivotal to what we do here in supporting our students. We are all in this together, and I think that shows in the good turnout we have here.”

Data from AFSP shows that suicide is one of the top three causes of death among Arkansans age 10-24, one of the top two causes of death among Arkansans age 25-34 and that Arkansas exceeds the national average for deaths by suicide per 100,000 residents. Only 10 states in the union experience more suicides per capita each year than Arkansas.

The walk is co-directed by Kristy Davis, associate dean for student wellness and director of the health and wellness center at ATU, and Matthew Klein, community education manager at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center.

Those wishing to donate to the 2023 ATU Out of the Darkness walk may do so at through June 30.