A Light in the Darkness

Posted September 21, 2016 by The Argonaut in This Week

The Alive and Running 5k Takes a Stand for Suicide Prevention

Olympian Suzy Favor-Hamilton

Olympian Suzy Favor-Hamilton

The Didi Hirsch Suicide Prevention Center is a national leader in training, research and services for people who have thought about, attempted or lost someone to suicide.

The group’s annual Alive and Running 5k Walk/Run for Suicide Prevention, happening again this Sunday in Westchester, raises funds to help that work —including a 24/7 crisis hotline — continue.

More than 2,000 runners are expected to raise as much as $350,000 for the group at this year’s run, which includes a wellness expo, a concert by singer-songwriters
Tom Goss and Larissa Lam, and a special appearance by Olympic athlete Suzy Favor-Hamilton.

Favor-Hamilton, who competed as a middle-distance runner in the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Summer Olympics, lost her brother Dan to suicide in 1999. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder after her third Olympics, she too attempted suicide, an episode of her life she deals with in her 2015 memoir “Fast Girl: A Life Spent Running Away From Madness.”

“I do lot of public speaking about suicide, and this is a wonderful event to raise public awareness about mental health. Both my brother and I were diagnosed as bipolar, and he committed suicide because he didn’t like the side effects of his medication, which happens to so many people,” Favor-Hamilton said. “I’ve always wanted to honor his life, and I feel that there are so many people out there who are suffering in silence and are ashamed of their condition.”

— Gary Walker

The Alive and Running 5k Walk/Run for Suicide Prevention starts at 7 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 25, at West 88th Street and La Tijera Boulevard in Westchester. Visit didihirsch.org for more info.


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