Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services will hold its 13th annual Alive & Running 5K Walk/Run for Suicide Prevention in Westchester Sunday, Sept. 25.

The event will begin at 8 a.m., just north of Los Angeles International Airport at West 88th Street and La Tijera Boulevard in Westchester. More than 1,000 runners, walkers, spectators and volunteers from across Southern California are expected to attend.

Proceeds from Alive & Running will directly benefit Didi Hirsch’s Suicide Prevention Center, which provides services to people who are contemplating suicide and those affected by the suicide of loved ones.

According to Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, more than two people die by suicide a day in Los Angeles County. Suicide was the third leading cause of death for adolescents and young adults in 2007.

This year, to raise awareness of college students who have died by suicide, Active Minds, which addresses mental health issues on college campuses, is bringing a special exhibit to the event. The exhibit includes a display of 1,100 backpacks and personal stories in honor of those lost to suicide.

“Each year we lose 1,100 college students to suicide,” said Dr. Kita S. Curry, president and CEO of the non-profit Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services. “Their hopes and dreams are never realized… We have asked Active Minds to exhibit Send Silence Packing to make this statistic real. The impact of seeing a statistic made real is powerful.”

The registration fee for the Alive & Running 5K is $30. A free “Kiddie-K” (1K) event will also be held following the start of the 5K.

For more information or to sign up, www.aliveandrunning.org.

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