Running 'One Mile an Hour' to help suicide prevention programs
The Middletown Transcript - 6/9/2019
Jun. 9--Nearly 100 people started the second annual "One Mile an Hour" endurance run at Appoquinimink High School Friday to raise funds and awareness for suicide prevention.
"We have 96 people. It's amazing. That's 30 more people than last year," said Appoquinimink High School senior Aubrey Shearer, who organizes the event with her father Andy Shearer.
The Shearers run one mile an hour for 24 hours and invite the community to run a mile or two with them -- or to camp out and try to complete the entire 24 miles.
Aubrey started the event last year after an Appoquinimink High School student committed suicide.
"I wanted to do something to bring attention to this problem and to try to help," she said.
This year, she's continuing the program as her senior service project.
In addition to promoting awareness of teen suicide, the Shearers wanted to call attention to the veteran suicide rate as well.
The "One Mile an Hour" fundraiser includes signs around the high school track with facts about suicide and the ways to get help, and a table with a variety of pamphlets about suicide prevention programs.
Funds from donations and t-shirt sales benefit the Mental Health Association in Delaware's teenage suicide programs and the Rebuilding Warriors' suicide prevention programs.
Before the start of this year's race, Andy told the participants about a friend in Virginia, a law enforcement officer, who took his own life about 10 days ago.
"He felt that there was no other way out," said Andy. "I heard something not too long ago that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Everybody being here tonight is a testament to the fact that we all have people we can talk to and depend on. There are resources. There are people to talk to."
He encouraged everyone that no matter how bad a situation seems, to keep trying and to talk with someone about the problem.
"We're also here to tell you tonight it's OK to feel that way. It's OK to be moving at one mile an hour, but just know that you have to keep moving," Andy said.
He thanked everyone who supported the effort, and talked about all the work that Aubrey has poured into the project.
"She put an awful lot of time and energy into not just the outreach aspect of it but this evening and the next 24 hours," said Andy.
Among those joining the Shearers to support the cause were family members, friends, classmates, teammates, high school staff members, community residents and representatives of health, fitness and rehabilitation organizations, and mental health professionals.
HOW TO HELP OR GET HELP
For more information or to make a donation, see the website https://www.onemileanhour24.com.
If you need help, the phone number for the Mental Health Association in Delaware's Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-TALK.
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