Third annual Break the Silence suicide awareness 5k returning to ConVal

  • ConVal students Abbey Shumway and Callie Boisvert are working to raise awareness and funds to assist with youth mental health issues. Staff photo by Ben Conant

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 4/5/2022 9:33:20 AM
Modified: 4/5/2022 9:32:17 AM

The third annual Break the Silence 5k run/walk for suicide prevention awareness returns to ConVal High School on May 22. The event cofounded by students Abbey Shumway and Callie Boisvert raises money for the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention.

“I’ve struggled with mental health for awhile now and many people in my life have also,” Boisvert said. “It’s always the most amazing, beautiful souls who end up struggling from a mental illness, and it’s never fair, it’s never a choice – it’s just the way it is. And what we can do as individuals is support each other and make the world a safe loving place for all humans struggling.”

A recent study released by the Centers for Disease Control found that mental health issues among adolescents have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic; 44.2 percent of surveyed teens reported “persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness,” 19.9 percent had considered attempting suicide, and 9.0 percent had actually attempted suicide.

“We lose far too many incredible people due to suicide,” Boisvert said, “and anything we can do to spread awareness, to let people know how worthy they are of living and that they will never be alone is a big step to a better mental health awareness for the future.”

In its third year, Break the Silence expects to crest the $10,000 mark for funds raised, all of which were donated to the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention, which is now an official sponsor of the event.  

“Spreading awareness is so important,” Boisvert said, “and breaking the stigma that is so strong around mental illness is a big job to do, but we can achieve it with the help of our community and anyone who’s willing to get involved and make the world a better place.”

The race takes place on Saturday, May 22 at the ConVal track. Registration runs from 9 to 9:30 a.m.; the race is donation optional, and those who donate $20 or will get a free t-shirt.

Resources

The Grapevine – https://grapevinenh.org/suicide-response-and-prevention/

The Samaritans hotline – (603) 357-5505

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – call 1-800-273-TALK ( 8255)

Parenting Stress Hotline –  1-800-632-8188

Crisis Text Line – Text 741741 from anywhere in the US

NAMI New Hampshire – www.naminh.org

The River Center – https://rivercenter.us/help-in-a-hurry/


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