Virtual 5K set for suicide prevention

By Jennifer Woods - [email protected]

A Regional Suicide Prevention Virtual 5K will be happening this year, and the Fayette County Suicide Prevention Coalition is taking part (FCSPC).

Although other regional coalitions have held in-person 5Ks, this is the first time the FCSPC is taking part in one, and the first time all the coalitions have come together for a virtual one, according to both Nina Rains with the Community Action Commission of Fayette County and Melanie Swisher, who is the associate director of the Paint Valley ADAMH Board.

The virtual event will last from Sept. 6 through Sept. 12. During these dates, participants from Fayette, Highland, Pickaway, Pike and Ross counties will complete a 5K (walk or run) on their own.

The times that people spend walking or running are self-reported. Upon registration, participants will receive an email with instructions on how to report those times.

This event is done on an individual basis rather than as a team. According to Rains, it is expected that participants submitting times complete the 5K in one run or walk within the event time frame.

Registration can be done online at

Registration before Aug. 22 costs $20 per person, and after Aug. 22 costs $25 per person. It’s suggested that registration occur prior to Aug. 26 in order to obtain racing materials such as the event t-shirt, although the shirt is only guaranteed for those who register prior to Aug. 22.

“We are planning on asking those registering to send in videos that will highlight why they are racing, and why the cause is important to them,” explained Swisher. “We will be placing these videos on social media.”

There is no particular monetary goal for this event, but the funds will go toward the coalitions.

“All money raised by this 5K is used to provide advocacy, education and training to decrease suicide deaths and attempts in our five counties,” wrote Rains in an email.

According to Swisher, upon registration, participants choose how to have the funds they raise to be distributed — they can either choose to support a specific county’s coalition or have the funds distributed equally between the regional coalitions.

Those wishing to provide sponsorship are asked to complete and return a form by Aug. 21; however, donations are accepted year-round by the FCSPC. For information on sponsorship, please visit

The 5K isn’t the only virtual event happening to assist with suicide awareness.

According to Swisher, there are brief (one-to-two hour) virtual QPR trainings being offered to help community members identify the signs and symptoms of someone with suicidal thoughts, and how to help someone get the help that they need.

Those who are interested in participating in this training should email [email protected].

Suicide is a permanent decision to a temporary problem. Seeking help is okay and shows true strength as there is hope — Your life matters and, together, difficult times can be navigated. The National Suicide Hotline can be reached at 1-800-273-8255.

Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355 or on Twitter @JennMWoods.

By Jennifer Woods

[email protected]