MISHAWAKA – On this Veterans Day weekend, hundreds of people participated in the “Race to Save Lives” at the St. Joseph Regional Medical Center.
The run focused on the skyrocketing number of military members who commit suicide each day.
On average, 100 people a day take their own lives in our country. 18 are active military or veterans.
More than 250 people put on their running gear and signed up for the 5th annual “Race to Save Lives.”
“Oh my gosh, this is exciting,” said Ann Schelle of the Suicide Prevention Center. “We never had this many people yet.
The run-walk was designed to help raise awareness about suicide and fund programs designed to prevent it.
“We educate first responders with intervention skills so that when they are face to face with someone at risk or attempting suicide, they know what to do, what to say to get that person to safety,” said Schelle.
Andrea Fassler lost her father to suicide just over a month ago and walked in his memory and to encourage others to “talk, love, get closer to your family. It’s a really hard time, and I just hope that people can get as much help as they can. And there’s a lot of help out there.”
Chris Krueger founded the event.
“8 years ago, I lost my sister to suicide, and at that time, I decided I wanted to focus my grief into something positive,” said Krueger.
This year’s race put a special emphasis on the increasing number of military members committing suicide.
Organizers hope the event not only raises awareness about suicide and the symptoms but also encourages people to not be afraid or embarrassed if they need help.