Southwest Louisiana Out of the Darkness Walk

The Southwest Louisiana Out of the Darkness Walk for suicide prevention will be held on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023 at the Burton Coliseum. 

“It’s estimated that for every person who dies by suicide, 25 people attempt suicide. When it comes to adolescents, for every teen who dies by suicide, it’s estimated that between 100-200 adolescents make an attempt,” explained Michelle Marsaw, suicide education and awareness coordinator for McNeese State University’s Kay Doré Counseling Clinic. “Some research indicates that the number could be over 300 adolescents.” 

The walk, the largest annual mental health event in Southwest Louisiana, is a visual show of support to those struggling as hundreds of people walk in support of suicide prevention, says Marsaw. 

Registration is free and open for individuals and teams at and everyone who attends must be registered. 

The Out of the Darkness Walk is a fundraiser for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the largest national suicide prevention non-profit organization. The funds raised stay local in the form of programming. Thousands and thousands of people have participated in educational opportunities about suicide prevention in the region due to the support of AFSP.  

To become a sponsor, contact Dr. Kevin Yaudes, co-chair of the walk and an associate professor of psychology at McNeese, or visit to find sponsorship information online. 

Organizations that are with behavioral health, mental health and/or suicide prevention can host a table at the walk to promote the group. Each group is asked to bring 1,000 promotional items for participants’ bags or to donate an item valued at $100 for participant drawings. To request a resource table, go to

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