Austen Riggs Center to Help Sponsor Berkshire County Out of the Darkness Community Walk for Suicide Prevention on Saturday, September 10, 2016.

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Stockbridge, MA – September 6, 2016 – Every year, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) sponsors Out of the Darkness Community Walks to raise awareness and funds for suicide prevention. This year more than 200,000 individuals will participate in more than 350 walks across the country.

The Austen Riggs Center is proud to be a “gold level” sponsor for the second annual Berkshire County Out of the Darkness Community Walk to be held on Saturday, September 10, 2016 (which, is also World Suicide Prevention Day) at the DCR Ashuwillticook Rail Trail in Lanesboro, MA. Registration is at 8:30 a.m. and the walk begins at 10:30 a.m. Last year, the inaugural walk brought together more than 275 walkers and raised more than $20,000 for AFSP. The Berkshire County walk is hoping to raise $30,000 this year to help AFSP work toward its goal of “reducing the annual suicide rate in the US 20% by 2025.” 

Austen Riggs Center Director of Human Resources Bertha Connelley, PHR, and Erikson Institute Program and Community Outreach Manager Lee Watroba are co-chairs for this year’s walk and have recruited a team of volunteers and representatives from Austen Riggs and several other local organizations, including the Berkshire Coalition for Suicide Prevention and the Brien Center

“Suicide is a significant public health problem in the United States,” says Erikson Institute Director and suicide researcher Jane G. Tillman, PhD, ABPP. “The work of AFSP is important in helping to fund research, raise public awareness, and combat stigma associated with issues surrounding suicide.” 

For organizations or individuals who want to get involved with the planning or volunteer to help on the day of the walk, contact:

Bertha Connelley: 413-931-5206 / bertha.connelley@austenriggs.net
Lee Watroba: 413-931-5284 / lee.watroba@austenriggs.net  

To make a donation to the Berkshire County walk, visit: www.afsp.org/BerkshireCounty

To find an Out of the Darkness Community Walk near you, visit: www.afsp.org/walk

About the Austen Riggs Center

Austen Riggs Center, a leading psychiatric hospital and residential treatment program, has been serving adults since 1919. Within a completely open setting, patients are provided immersion in an intensive treatment milieu that emphasizes respectful engagement. Individual psychodynamic psychotherapy is provided four times per week by doctors on staff. 

The Austen Riggs Center is located in Stockbridge, MA. For more information about its services, please call [413] 298.5511 or [800] 517.4447 or visit www.austenriggs.org.

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