Michigan Experience

Join us on September 26, 2020


Welcome to the Out of the Darkness Michigan Experience

While things may  look different this year, our mission to Save Lives and Bring Hope to Those Affected by Suicide has not changed. We are a strong and resilient community, united in our effort to fight suicide, raise awareness, educate our communities, support those who have lost loved ones, and support those with lived experience. We use our voices and share our stories to provide hope.

We invite you to join us on 09/26/2020 for the Out of the Darkness Michigan Experience!

We’re working hard to plan meaningful opportunities to connect and inspire you, and we will share more details about our exciting plans in the coming weeks.

We want to keep you up-to-date with the most current information so be sure to sign up and join us here!

We are always #TogetherToFightSuicide


Event Details

Date: 09/26/2020
Location: Everywhere! 
Time: 10:00 am - 1:00 pm

For more information, please contact:
Contact Name: Sarah Schang 
Contact Phone: 248-880-5427 
Contact Email: metrodetroit@afsp.org

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



What is MI Experience?

While we may not be able to gather together in person this year, we now have the unique opportunity to all join together for ONE DAY, ONE MICHIGAN, ONE EXPERIENCE to form one large collective voice for change!

On September 26th participants from throughout Michigan and their teams will safely walk in neighborhoods and parks all across our state on the same day, at the same time in honor of the person(s) for whom they walk and in commemoration of the 2020 Michigan Out of the Darkness Experience. This is an opportunity to bring our messages of hope and awareness to the places we call home. So carry your team signs, wear your OOTD walk or team t-shirts and beads with pride as you join #TogetherToFightSucide!


OPENING CEREMONY will begin online at 10:00 AM (aprox 40 mins) and will be live-streamed directly from our Michigan Chapter Facebook Page- https://www.facebook.com/AFSPMichigan/Join us from your computer or phone as we remember the impact of suicide during the annual Honor Beads Ceremony, share stories of hope and healing and kick off MI Experience!  Detroit, Fox2 news anchor and AFSP advocate, Amy Andrews will be our Emcee! 

WHAT WILL YOUR EXPERIENCE BE? Will you enjoy a solo walk at your favorite park?  Maybe a trip around the neighborhood with you family or team? Or is the treadmill more your speed?  Speaking of speed, perhaps you will choose to participate in MI Ride for the MI Experience!  Whatever you decide, you will have several hours to take your time and enjoy the day while remembering a loved one or honoring your connection to our cause. Make sure to share your experience with us using the hasthags #MIExperience and #MIHope!  We will be sharing your photos during our closing ceremony.

CLOSING PROGRAM - UPDATE!!!- We have decided not to host an official closing ceremony and instead invite you to take your time and make your experience whatever you would like it to be over the day!

We will however host a series of BONUS FEATURES, which will run directly following the Opening Ceremony, and will be posted every 1/2 on our Chapter FB page!

11am: Hear from some of our Lived Experience volunteers with a  great message of hope to #keepgoing!

11:30am:  We will have an update from Harley Davidson in Lansing, with some of our MI Ride participants!

12:00pm: Sponsor information and local resources! 

12:30pm: Board President, Reid Depowski will give us some important self care reminders and tips!

1:00pm:  Word of thanks from Area Director, Anne Perry 


 Throughout OOTD Season

Share your fundraising link on social media with a picture or video and why you support OOTD using the hashtag #MIExperience. Make your post public and we will highlight stories on our page. And please be sure to follow us on social media: facebook.com/AFSPMichigan , instagram.com/afspmichigan and twitter.com/afspmichigan.

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW  can be found at afsp.org/MIExperience. Here are just a few things for which you should be on the lookout for `and know:

CAPTIVATIONS We will be hosting several events throughout walk season where participants can come and grab AFSP resources and goodie bags filled with swag, art supplies, tips & tools and more! See a complete list of Captivations below! 

T-SHIRT Just as always, all participants who raise $150 will receive an official 2020 MI Experience  OOTD t-shirt.  This year we will be including the names of the TOP FIVE TEAMS on the back of our shirts!  For this reason, shirts will be directly mailed out after the event.

FREE PREVENTION EDUCATION Make sure to join us for one of our signature programs now being offered virtually.  For a complete list of program offerings go to afsp.org/michigan

Get Registered

Having trouble registering?  Click here to view a step-by-step guide.  Refer to page 1 if you’re registering yourself, page 5 if you’re registering someone else through your own account, or page 8 if you’re signing up in person on the day of the event.  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 we are closely monitoring CDC and local guidelines as we map out our options for bringing you an experience of hope and healing this fall.

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.

We realize that nothing can substitute the experience of coming together in person, and we will continue to seek ways in which we can do that safely, if possible. We welcome your ideas for gathering online and/or in-person this fall. Please contact your local chapter for more information. In the meantime, we look forward to connecting in new ways, and we invite you to join us on this journey.

Become a Sponsor

Download the Michigan Experience Sponsorship PacketWith sponsorship opportunities starting at only $500, this is a perfect opportunity for large and small businesses to play a role in making suicide prevention a priority in the community. All sponsors will receive marketing and publicity benefits!

Help Spread the Word!

Please help promote the event through your social media outlets! #OutoftheDarkness 

  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.  Tell your story!



Raise $150 by 09/26/2020 and receive an official Out of the Darkness T-shirt!


MI Ride to Fight Suicide!

Calling all bikers!  We are very excited to announce that we will have a special Ride to Fight Suicide as an element of our Michigan Out of the Darkness Experience!  Harley Davidson in Lansing will serve as our headquarters for the day, but you can ride from anywhere! 

Register today at: http://afsp.org/miride and ride with us on September 26th! 


Captivations (Team Captain Events)

In the coming weeks, we will be hosting a series of Team Captain Events ("Captivations")! 

These events will be offered in various locations throughout the state and we will also offer some online events as well.  Each event will offer a little something different, from resource and merchandise pickups to engaging activities! 

Below is a list of current Captivations (Updated Regularly):

9/16- Grand Ledge, The Hive Dance Studio (6pm-8pm)

9/19- Grand Rapids, Rivertown Mall (12pm-2pm)

9/20- Kalamazoo, Sweetwater Donut Mill (1pm-3pm)

9/20- Ann Arbor, Furstenberg Nature Area (11am-2pm)

9/21- Rochester, Yates Cider Mill (5pm-7pm)

9/22- Lansing, Highfields (6pm-8pm)


For detailed event information and updates, make sure to follow us on Facebook: http://facebook.com/AFSPMichigan


Upcoming Events (Updated Regularly):

MI Drive-In Fundraiser- Be a Suicide Prevenger

Join us on September 16th at The Michigan Lottery Amphitheater (Freedom Hill) in Sterling Heights, for a special showing of The Avengers!  For more information at to reserve your spot today, visit: http://midrivein.attendease.com


Kilter Rewards

We are very excited to launch a six week wellness challenge in partnership with Kilter Rewards!

We have such a unique opportunity to unite together as a state an stand #TogetherToFightSuicide!  Just follow the simple steps below to get started today! (The challenge begins August 3rd)

  1. Register for free for the MIExperience!
  2. Download the Kilter Rewards app on your phone through your App Store
  3. Join the Out of the Darkness Wellness Challenge and then choose Team East Central (Our East Central Division is home to chapters and events in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Washington D.C.)


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

We are hoping to have Honor Beads for you to pick up for your team at our Captivations. 


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!