GENESEO – Superintendent Tim Hayes of the Geneseo Central School District announced that he and a team of family and friends will soon participate for the first time in the Out of the Darkness Walk for depression and suicide awareness in Rochester. The issue is especially under the public eye this week, as Wednesday marks World Suicide Prevention Day for the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP).
Hayes and his team will head out to Genesee Valley Park in Rochester on Sunday, September 28, to walk with hundreds of other people who wish to raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), and spread public awareness against the proliferation and treatability of depression and suicidal thoughts.
“One of the things that’s always on the forefront of my mind is that depression affects so many people, more than you might think, and is treatable,” said Hayes. “My own brother Michael passed away of depression, and eventually suicide, 16 years ago.”
Hayes will be joined by several others, including his brother Rob Hayes, in memory of Michael Hayes.
Out of the Darkness is the signature fundraiser for the AFSP. The three to five mile community walks are designed to raise money for research on depression and suicide, and combat the stigma that prevents many people with depression and other mental disorders from reaching out and getting help. Walkers are given a chance to publicly and collectively express their support for those struggling with chronic depression or suicidal thoughts, and those who have lost family members to suicide.
The walk will begin at 1:00p.m. at Genesee Valley Park, 1000 East River Road in Rochester. Anyone can register for the community walk in Rochester here.
“Hopefully we’ll raise some money for a great cause,” added Hayes,” share some laughs in Michael’s memory, and spread some information.”
PHOTO CAPTION: From left to right – Tim Hayes with his brothers John, Rob, Steve, and Michael. Image courtesy of Tim Hayes.
Anyone who has suicidal thoughts can reach out to their nearest suicide prevention hotline at the following numbers:
Genesee County – Regional Action Phone, Inc. – (585) 343-1212 or (800) 359-5727.
Livingston County – Lifeline – (585) 275-5151 or (800) 310-1160.
Monroe County – Lifeline – (585) 275-5151 or (800) 310-1160.
Steuben County Community Mental Health – (607) 776-6577, after hours: (607) 937-7800.
Wyoming County Crisis Line – (800) 724-8583 or Wyoming County Mental Health Clinic – (585) 786-0190.