The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention held a “Out of the Darkness” campus walk open to the public at COC’s stadium Saturday.

This event came at the perfect time, coinciding with May being Mental Health Awareness month. The chair of the event was Dawnel Derubeis, a volunteer with AFSP’s Los Angeles Chapter and a member of their Education Committee.

The goal of the walk was to promote mental health and suicide awareness, as well as allow members of the community who are suffering from a mental illness or who have lost someone to suicide, to come together and comfort each other.

Those in attendance wore shirts in memorial to loved ones, as well as beads of various colors to represent the different losses they have experienced.

Loved ones of those that have passed away wore shirts in remembrance.

They also had the opportunity to decorate their skin with face painting or henna tattoos to commemorate a design to either themselves or someone they have lost.

Community Artist Maria Garcia volunteered to paint attendees of the event.

Several community organizations and resources came to support the AFSP in giving awareness to these issues, such as Real Life Church, Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health and the Assistant Director of the Student Health and Wellness Mental Health Program at COC, Larry Schallert.

Of the many people who went on-stage and expressed their dedication to this cause, one was resident and former “The Voice” contestant Karli Webster.

Karli Webster was on season 13 of “The Voice” and was a member of Team Miley.

For those that would like to attend a future campus walk in Santa Clarita, visit for more information.

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