Erie Experience

Erie Experience

Join us on September 19, 2020


Welcome to the Out of the Darkness Erie ExperienceOnline Opening Ceremony!

While the Erie Out of the Darkness Walk is going to 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 this Fall for an Out of the Darkness 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.  This year, due to social distancing and safety guidelines, we will not be hosting an in-person walk on Presque Isle on September 19th and we invite you to join us on that date for an Out of the Darkness Experience, which will include an online ceremony beginning at 10:00 a.m. , which you can view right here on the website! For the online ceremony, we ask that you tune into the ceremony and then go out and walk with your family, friends, and team members either in your neighborhoods or local parks and post up pictures or livestream videos of your walk on the Erie Experience Facebook Event Page.  You'll also be able to send in messages during the live ceremony too! 

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: 09/19/2020
Location: Online - Details TBA 
Time: 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

For more information, please contact:
Contact Name: Nicole Moore 
Contact Phone: 860-428-6110 
Contact Email:

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

2020 Erie Out of the Darkness Experience

It is difficult to imagine what the future will hold as things continue to change every day. Many of us experiencing feelings of uncertainty and instability. The current social and economic climate is taking a huge toll on mental wellness for ourselves and those around us. Through the lens of the COVID-19 Pandemic, we know that it is more important than ever to take care of our mental health, find ways to connect and work against isolation and loneliness, and find ways to help people connect to purpose and inner strength to reduce the risk of suicide.

For this reason, your support of AFSP’s suicide prevention work is more crucial than ever.  It will help AFSP save lives as we continue to bring hope, research, awareness and support for those with lived experience and those who have suffered a suicide loss.

Now more than ever, self-care is so important. We are all struggling to cope, understand, and live under difficult constraints which affect our mental and physical health.  During this time of uncertainty, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Western Pennsylvania Chapter is here to support your community through resources, virtual programming, and more.  AFSP has a dedicated page on our website with more information on taking care of your mental health during this time. You can visit the website here:

Week Long Events

"Art of Self-Care Experience" Package - Similar to the way a seed slowly blooms into a flower, healing takes time.

Package Description:  Package includes a paint-your-own clay pot from Claytopia, pottery glaze, paintbrush, seed paper and flowers.  Also included is pottery firing for your pot at Claytopia.  Packages will be distributed with walk packets on September 13, 2020.  Cost of the package is $20 with a portion of the proceeds going to the Erie Experience.  PRE-Register by August 31st here.

"Family, Friends and Flix Experience" Package - Dinner, movie and popcorn night with family and friends!

Package Description:  Package includes a $20 Wegmans gift card, a Redbox movie code, special edition "Out of the Darkness" gourmet popcorn from Popluck, and movie candy all packed inside your AFSP tote bag.  Packages will be distributed with walk packets on September 13, 2020.  Cost of the package is $50 with a portion of the proceeds going to the Erie Experience.  PRE-Register by August 31st here.

Daily Events

Sunday, September 13th:

Experience Packet Distribution - Visit the parking lot of Safe Harbor between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. to pick up your walk gear, including beads, buttons walk t-shirts (for those who raised $150+), suggested walk routes, resources, snacks and supplies to use during your walk.  Address:  UPMC Western Behavioral Health at Safe Harbor, 1330 West 26th Street, Erie, PA  16508.  Click here to register for the packet distribution.

Monday, September 14th:

Mindful Monday Yoga - Join us and a trained yoga instructor from NAMI of Erie for  FREE online yoga class from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  This will be a morning of relaxation and self-care.  All experience levels are welcome.  Register here by September 10th.

Thursday, September 15th:

"Talk About it Thursday" - FREE Online Talk Saves Lives Presentation.  Register here to participate.

Saturday, September 19th:

Suicide Prevention Saturday!  Walk Experience - Pick your own route, gather your crew, don your walk gear, and tune into this website to view the online ceremony!  Then, go out and walk with your family, friends and team members around Erie.  Please share your walk photos and videos with us at the Erie Experience Facebook Event Page.

Be a Part of the Online Ceremony on September 19th!

We would love for you to be a part of our radio and online ceremony taking place on September 19th by by either submitting a Why I Walk video talking about why you walk or a picture of you in your honor beads or a picture showing your connection to the cause with a small paragraph explaining the photo.  To submit either a video or a photo, please use the links below:

Why I Walk Video


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 Erie Experience Sponsorship Packet. With sponsorship opportunities starting at only $250, 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!

Upload agreement and logo online

Help Spread the Word!

Please help promote the event through your social media outlets! Download and share the Erie Experience flyer#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 09/19/2020 and receive an official Out of the Darkness T-shirt!


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


Thank you for your support!