I plug this every year, and I’ll continue to plug it every year, because it’s tremendously important and it’s a cause close to my heart.
In 2005, my close friend Trisha lost her mother to suicide after a long struggle with schizophrenia. Every year since then, she and her siblings have hosted a 5K charity run/walk to raise awareness and research funds for this prevalent and stigmatized illness. I never had the opportunity to meet Trisha’s mom, but I’ve known her and her siblings for a long time now, and I can tell you without a doubt that this was a phenomenal woman who dedicated herself to raising a phenomenal family and being a true friend to her children and the people in her life. The world is a great deal darker for her absence.
Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in America. Among teenagers and young adults ages 15-24, suicide is the third leading cause of death. Of deaths from suicide, over 90% are attributed to mental health conditions such as depression, bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia. Mental illness touches all our lives in one way or another, and the more we can raise awareness and lessen the stigma surrounding it, the better chance we give people battling these illnesses at living long and fulfilling lives.
If you live in the Michigan area, you can sign up to run or walk the race here.
Because of this crappy-ass economy, the M.O.M. race is seeing fewer registrations and donations than they have in years past. If you can make a donation — even a small one! — go for it! You’ll feel good about yourself for a long time afterward, I promise! And you’ll feel even better about yourself if you manage to spend a Saturday walking or running 3.1 miles! Get out there and get involved!!