Suicide awareness “Color Run” planned for September in PdC

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By Breanna Teynor


As part of a large community collaboration, a color run/walk will be held at 8 a.m. on Sept. 16 on St. Feriole Island. Sept. 16 is a significant date because it marks the end of suicide prevention week. To highlight this important cause, the run is intended to provide education, resources, and awareness for those who have been impacted by suicide and is part of an ongoing campaign for localized suicide prevention. Crossing Rivers Behavioral Health, the Driftless Region Mental Health Coalition, the Prairie du Chien Police Department, Crawford County Public Health & Human Services, Suicide Survivor Support Group, and the Sources of Strength youth organization are all responsible for the organization of this event. Together, they hope to highlight the issue of suicide during a particularly important part of the year: suicide prevention and awareness month. The event also comes at the tail end of the nine week Crawford County on the Move fitness challenge.

 The color run/walk, which has been hosted by Sources of Strength in the past, chose to expand this year to meet a larger community need. Advisor Adrienne Udelhoven explains “we are excited to partner with the community because really that’s what we want Sources of Strength to be” and “while Sources of Strength is primarily a student-based program for suicide prevention, it doesn’t just stay in our schools.” In addition to participating in the run, participants are asked to bring a pair of shoes if they would like. These shoes will be displayed along the route to symbolize and memorialize somebody in a participant’s life who has been lost to suicide or may have struggled in the past.  As part of the color run, runners will also be spattered and sprayed with brightly-colored dust during the duration of the route and are encouraged to wear white clothing and shades to keep the color out of their eyes. If you need a white shirt, no problem. Tees can be purchased for $10 ahead of the race.

Those interested in attending are encouraged to register before the race at Runners will also be able to register the morning of the race at the Jaycees Shelter. There is a $10 entry fee for individuals and a $15 fee for families. All money contributions will support further efforts for suicide prevention such as the organization of support groups and crisis response trainings. Although it is a 5K race, those who participate are able to run or walk as little or much as they would like. Similarly, the route is made for people of all ages and abilities in mind, and will utilize some low-traffic areas of St. Feriole Island, including walkable paths. Local resource centers, mental health professionals, and those groups specializing in suicide prevention will be tabling throughout the event. Participants are encouraged to stop and look at the many resources that can be offered to people and their families in times of crisis. 

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