URI to host 5K run, Out of Darkness Walk to fight suicide

Events to be held, Sunday Oct. 26

WHO: Hundreds of URI students, alumni, faculty and staff.

WHAT: Marc’s Awareness and Research to Combat Suicide (MARCS) 5K Run, and Sixth Annual American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Out of the Darkness Walk at URI. During the last five years, hundreds of University of Rhode Island students, faculty and staff have participated in the Out of the Darkness campus walk to raise money and awareness to combat suicide. Hundreds more will join the fight this year. This year, MARCS 5K Run has been added to the program in honor of Marc Abrams, the son of URI alumni Robert “Bob” Abrams and Joy Abrams, who recently died by suicide.

WHEN: Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014, MARCS 5K Run, 10 a.m.; American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Out of the Darkness Walk, 11 a.m.

WHERE: Run and walk start and finish on the Quadrangle of URI’s Kingston Campus.

TO MAKE COVERAGE ARRANGEMENTS: Contact Dave Lavallee at 401-874-5862 or cell, 401-465-4291.

BACKGROUND AND COMMENTS: According to a recent congressional subcommittee hearing on suicide, in 2013, 9.3 million Americans had thoughts of suicide, 2.7 made serious plans to take their own lives, 1.3 million attempted suicide and 40,000 committed suicide. It is the second leading cause of death among college students.

“We are very pleased and honored to have Bob, Joy and their family members add to what is a very important initiative at URI,” said Sarah Miller, coordinator of URI’s Feinstein Civic Engagement Program. “The Out of the Darkness Walk has been a very powerful and positive event.”

“My wife and I recently lost our 26-year-old son Marc, who was living in Lincoln and working in biotechnology, to suicide,” said Bob Abrams. “We are passionate about raising awareness, defeating the stigma associated with mental illness and suicide. Our goals include spreading the word to save lives and preventing others from going through the nightmare that we now face.”