MALMSTROM AFB — On Friday, September 9, 2022, Malmstrom Air Force Base hosted a "Color Run" for suicide prevention and awareness.
The event is held annually during Suicide Awareness Month to shed light on those who are potentially struggling with day-to-day aspects of life.
Participants were showered in powdered dye during the race.
Onlookers supported the runners and walkers by holding up signs of encouragement and reinforcement at the finish line.
Some signs said, “You Matter," others said “Don’t Lose Hope.” These same signs were held up along the road into and out of the main entrance.
Raquel Lewis, a public health officer, said, “It was invigorating to get people out of the office, and meet up with people we might not have run into before. It’s a good reminder to show them we care but we also matter in our own sense.”
Serena Sargent, who is in charge of violence prevention on base, said, “Unfortunately, especially among our younger individuals in this country, we do have high rates of suicide, especially young men. That is a population that is overrepresented on this installation because that is who joins the military,” .
Every airman goes through mandated suicide prevention training. The course aims at giving young men and women the tools required to aid somebody in a crisis.
“They’re not only dialoguing known signs and symptoms,” says Sargent, “but also dialoguing about how, in my work center can I be a good support, how in my work center can I be paying attention, how can I get to know the people who I am living with?”
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