Wilmington Area Walk

Join us on November 7, 2021


Welcome to the Out of the Darkness Wilmington Area Walk

With the ongoing pandemic, we will be holding the Wilmington Out of the Darkness Walk a little differently this year with two parts. The safety and well-being of our volunteers, walkers and staff are our primary concern and it is important  for our community to show survivors of suicide, those that are struggling with a mental illness, and those that support suicide prevention and awareness that we hear them, stand with them and fight for them, even in the hardest of times.  Even during a pandemic.  The walk committee and event sponsors appreciate your support!

November 7 - Wilmington Walk T-shirt and Honor Bead Pickup Event / St. James Parish Luminaria  . We will be holding a walk t-shirt  and honor bead pickup event  at St. James Parish from 4:00-5:00pm. If you raise $150 by October 6th, your t-shirt will be there waiting for you. All walkers who raise $150 between October 6- December 31  will receive their t-shirt in the mail in January to the mailing address entered during registration. St. James Parish invites you to stay to help them light up the darkness with their luminaria event in memory and honor of loved ones. Contact Cookie Cantwell at Cookie@stjamesp.org or Jane Rippy at janerippy@yahoo.com for more information about the St. James Parish Luminaria event.  

November 13th - 12:00pm Out of the Darkness Opening Ceremony and Walk on a Route of your Choosing. The Out of the Darkness Program will be held virtually on November 13, 2021. Join us at noon for the Out of the Darkness Opening Ceremony followed by a walk on a route of your choosing. We encourage everyone to walk at least 1,359 steps to honor the North Carolinians who died by suicide in 2019. 

The ceremony will premiere on both our AFSP NC Chapter YouTube Channel


 and our AFSP NC Chapter Facebook Page



Our AFSP NC Chapter Virtual Merchandise Sale will be live on November 13th at 9:00am. 



We invite you to also join us for the NC Together: Day of Hope event that will include virtual programming for all ages. Preregistration for each event is required using the links below.

Gizmo's Pawesome Guide to Mental Health - November 13th 10:30-11:30am 

About Gizmo: Gizmo's Pawesome Guide to Mental Health© takes an upstream approach to support the mental health and wellness of youth through Gizmo's friendly messaging by:

1) Introducing the concept of mental health;
2) Sharing how one may care for their own mental health daily;
3) Identifying when one's mental health needs attention and how to use healthy coping strategies;
4) Defining trusted adults and how to connect with them; and
5) Making a personalized mental health plan that can be used daily.

The Guide includes fun activities and resources trusted adults can use to help the youth in their lives. For: Youth ages 5-11 and their Trusted Adults (trusted adults must be present with kids in attendance)

Register here for Gizmo's Pawesome Guide to Mental Health©  https://nctogethergizmo.attendease.com

It's Real: Teens and Mental Health - November 13th  2:00-3:00pm

It’s Real: Teens and Mental Health provides youth with general mental health information and resources. The presentation defines mental health and includes guidance on starting a conversation about mental health and engaging in self-care. Participants must be 14 or older to attend.

The goal of the presentation is to provide:
• General mental health information and resources to youth
• Information on how to notice signs of deterioration in mental health
• Tips and strategies on how to start a caring conversation about mental health
• Information on how to engage in methods of self-care

Register here for It's Real: Teens and Mental Health http://nctogetheritsreal4teens.attendease.com

 Introduction to Supporting Those at Risk - November 13th 3:30-4:30pm

When someone in your life attempts suicide or experiences suicidal thoughts, it can be difficult to know how to best support them in their recovery. Introduction to Supporting Those At Risk is designed to provide you with information and resources on how to support someone in your life with lived experience. In the context of this presentation, the term “lived experience” refers to someone's experience with suicidal thoughts and/or a past suicide attempt.

Suggested Participants: 
Those who have supported or are supporting a loved one who has struggled or attempted suicide
Those interested in learning more, because anyone may need to support someone at some point in time
Registration is required and participants must be at least 18 years or older to attend. 

PLEASE NOTE: This program is not intended to be utilized for clinical services, support groups, or crisis intervention programs.

Register here for Introduction to Supporting Those at Risk https://nctogetheritstar.attendease.com

The Out of the Darkness Community Walks are particularly important events for the AFSP North Carolina Chapter. The Walks are our largest fundraisers and provide significant financial support to keep our programs and services free of charge to help individuals and families affected by suicide. COVID-19 has not stopped the mental health needs of our community and we continue to provide free programs every day through Zoom and Facebook Live. 

This past year has taught us that "community" is not about being in-person, but about creating a space where people feel a sense of belonging. We are hopeful that everyone who planned to attend our walk in-person will join us virtually in full force. A huge thank you to everyone who has already registered, started a team and/or made donations. We are grateful for your support!

Now, more than ever, it’s important to be there for one another and take steps to safeguard our mental health and prevent suicide.

Register today to stay up to date on the latest news and announcements for the Wilmington Area Walk.


Registration is free and open to the public. Donations are accepted until December 31st.


Will you help save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide?

The Out of the Darkness Wilmington Area Walk is a special event that provides community, connection, healing, and hope for survivors of suicide loss and those with lived experience.

By registering, you are joining a strong community united in an effort to fight suicide while showing up for yourself, recognizing and honoring those you love, raising awareness, educating communities, supporting one another, and sharing hope.

Every dollar you raise through the Wilmington Area Walk allows AFSP to invest in life-saving research, education, advocacy, and support for those impacted by suicide. Our walk chair, committee and sponsors thank you!

Event Details                                                                                                          

Part One: T-Shirt and Honor Bead Pick-up

Date: November 7, 2021
Location: St. James Parish 
Event Time:  4:00-5:00 pm (followed by the St. James Parish light the darkness luminaria event)

Part Two - Out of the Darkness Opening Ceremony and Walk on a route of your choosing

Date: November 13, 2021
Location: Virtual   
Event Time:  12:00pm Links found above

NC Together: Turning Hope into Action

Date: November 13, 2021
Location: Virtual   
Event Time:  Events throughout the day. Details and Registration links found above


For more information, please contact:
Contact Name: Ashley Bardsley
Contact Phone: 912-552-0463
Contact Email:wilmingtonOOTD@gmail.com


Registration & Walk FAQs

When and where is the event taking place?
The T-shirt and Honor Bead pickup (for walkers who raised $150 by October 6th) event is taking place  on Sunday, November 7 at 4:00-5:00pm at  St. James Parish followed by a virtual walk event on Saturday, November 13th. Information about how to participate in the event while be sent to all registered walkers prior to the walk. 


Is there a registration fee?
No, there is no registration fee to participate, but as a fundraising event we encourage you to try and solicit donations in your community!


How do I make an offline donation?
To send a donation by check, please complete this form and send it with your check to the address provided.

Is there a fundraising minimum?
No, but we strongly encourage each participant to set a minimum $150 fundraising goal to help support AFSP's work to stop suicide and receive the official walk t-shirt!


How do I set up my personal fundraising page?
If you need help logging into or setting up your fundraising page, click here for a step-by-step guide.


For additional questions, please email  wilmingtonOOTD@gmail.com

How You Can Help

Become a Sponsor

Sponsoring the Wilmington Area Walk shows the community that your business cares about mental health and suicide prevention. Become a partner to help stop this leading cause of death.

Promote the Walk in Your Community! 

Contact Sarah Cothren for more.

Share on Social Media

Share your story, post photos, invite others to join you or donate to your fundraising efforts. Social media is a powerful tool!

Please be sure to use the following: @NCTogether, #TogetherToFightSuicide


Fundraise to Help #StopSuicide

$150+ - Walk t-shirt. Raise $150 by December 31st  and receive the official Out of the Darkness Walk t-shirt!

These easy action steps will get you started! 



Get Registered

Having trouble registering?  Click here to view a step-by-step guide.  Refer to page 1 if you’re registering yourself or page 5 if you’re registering someone else through your own account.  Be sure to also check out some of the Frequently Asked Questions on page 10.

If you’ve already registered and would like to either create a new team or join an existing one, log into your AFSP account and click on the “change team membership” option on the right hand side of your dashboard tab (on mobile you’ll need to click “dashboard” first).

Why Register?

Our community has always been the heart of the Out of the Darkness Walks. Your safety and well-being will always be our top priority, and while we remain hopeful that we'll be able to gather in person once again this fall, we are closely monitoring CDC and local guidelines and will continue to share updates in the coming weeks and months.

Though there are many unknowns, there are a few things we know for sure:

  1. You belong to a strong community united in an effort to fight suicide while showing up for yourself, recognizing and honoring those you love, raising awareness, educating communities, supporting one another, and sharing hope.
  2. We remain dedicated to providing you with opportunities to connect, heal, share stories, create impact, and show you that you are not alone.
  3. Mental Health and suicide prevention are more important than ever, and we’re confident that with your help we can reach more people than ever before.

Help Spread the Word!

Please help promote the event through your social media outlets! Use the hashtags #OutoftheDarkness and #TogetherToFightSuicide

  Follow us on Facebook! Post to your Facebook page and add the direct link to your fundraising page. 

  Follow us on Twitter! If you are on Twitter, Tweet about the event. Don’t forget to add #outofthedarkness to your tweets!

Follow us on Instagram! Share and tag your photos with #outofthedarkness! Spread the word and ask for support by sharing the videos and social shares in the participant hub.

There are many more social media outlets, please use any and all to help promote the event.  One of the best ways to raise awareness and increase understanding is by sharing your story.


Raise $150 by October 6 and receive an official Out of the Darkness T-shirt at the event. Walkers who raise $150 after October 6 will receive their shirt in the mail in January. Shirts will be mailed to the address used to register so please ensure accuracy. 

Activities of Hope and Healing

Honor Beads

Losing someone to suicide or struggling with a mental illness can feel like no one understands what you are going through. Unlike other illnesses, it is difficult to look at someone and know their connection. There is an honor bead for everyone, whether you have lost a loved one, struggle personally, support a friend and/or family member, or all of the above. Learn more by watching our honor bead video.


The Out of the Darkness Experience is a journey of remembrance, hope, and support. It unites our communities and provides an opportunity to acknowledge the ways in which suicide and mental illness have affected our lives and the lives of those we love and care about.

If you're looking for resources, please visit www.afsp.org/resources.


Thank you for your support!