Lawrence County Experience

Join us on September 26, 2020


Welcome to the Out of the Darkness Lawrence County Experience



If you are having trouble viewing the ceremony here, you can view it live on Facebook at

While the Lawrence County 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.

This year, due to social distancing and safety guidelines, we will not be hosting an in-person walk at the Riverwalk Amphitheatre on September 26th.  However, we are launching our Lawrence County Out of the Darkness Experience!  We invite you to join us this Fall for an Out of the Darkness Experience, which will include an online ceremony on September 26th. 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.  Those details will be sent out via email and will also be provided in the information below.

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: Online - Details TBA 
Time: 11:00 am - 11:30 am

For more information, please contact:
Contact Name: Michele Kelly-Thompson 
Contact Phone: 724-510-3271 
Contact Email:

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

2020 Lawrence County 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:

The Lawrence County Out of the Darkness Experience online ceremony will be online at 11:00 a.m. on September 26, 2020.  All registrants for the Experience will receive an email with a link and instructions on how to view the ceremony on the AFSP Western PA Lawrence County Out of the Darkness Experience event page or on the Lawrence County Out of the Darkness Experience registration page.

Some important information to note about this year's event:

  1. All registration must be completed online.  No walk-up registration is permitted;
  2. The Community Resources/Vendor tables will not be permitted due to COVID-19 restrictions;
  3. The Lawrence County Out of the Darkness Experience will be provide team captains with resource packets to share with their team members in advance of September 26th;
  4. Teams can choose to walk in their own neighborhoods, on local trails, or in local parks and take videos/pictures to upload onto the ceremony site as part of the online ceremony.

Suicide Awareness Month Window Decorating Project

In honor of National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, the Lawrence County Suicide Prevention Coalition is sponsoring a window decorating project in conjunction with this year's AFSP Out of the Darkness Experience.  Teams that are registered for the experience can sign up to decorate a window in Lawrence County.  Teams will be partnered with a Lawrence County business and will design and create a window display at the physical location of their business partner.  For questions, please contact Tonya at 724-531-6614 and email pictures of your window to  Please see the flyer below for the guidelines!

Download the Window Decorating Flyer

Free Online Talk Saves Lives Presentations

Join us for Talk Saves Lives presentations for the Lawrence County Out of the Darkness Experience hosted by AFSP Western PA and the Lawrence County Suicide Prevention Coalition!  These are free online presentations of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's (AFSP) program "Talk Saves Live:  A Brief Introduction to Suicide Prevention."  This is an Introduction to Suicide Prevention is a community-based presentation that covers the general scope of suicide, the research on prevention, and what people can do to fight suicide. These will be taking place on three different dates throughout the month of September:

  • September 8, 2020 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. - Click here to register
  • September 21, 2020 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. - Click here to register
  • September 28, 2020 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. - Click here to register

Be a Part of the Online Ceremony on September 26th!

We would love for you to be a part of our radio and online ceremony taking place on September 26th 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 or page 5 if you’re registering someone else through your own account.  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 Lawrence County Experience Sponsorship Packet. With sponsorship opportunities starting at only $100, 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! #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!


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!