Residents walk and run in Yellow 5K Fun Run raising money for su - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Residents walk and run in Yellow 5K Fun Run raising money for suicide prevention program

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Residents joined in on the first Paint the Town Yellow 5K Fun Run Residents joined in on the first Paint the Town Yellow 5K Fun Run
There was lots of yellow out and about in downtown South Bend on Thursday evening. It was part of the Paint the Town Yellow 5K Fun Run held at Seitz Park. People ran and walked in the event aimed to raise money for a suicide prevention program.

Organizers say 38,000 people are lost to suicide each year in the US. In Indiana, suicide is the 2nd leading cause of deaths for people ages 15-34 and the 3rd leading cause for people ages 10-14.

"It's high. It's alarmingly high and we're just trying to address and bring awareness to the community," Yellow 5k Fun Run Course Director Greg McCoy said.

McCoy says this event aims to show families who have lost a loved one to suicide that there is support for them. "A lot of people aren't willing to think about or want to know about it," McCoy said.

Kathy Kreuger has been an advocate for suicide prevention programs for nearly a decade. She lost her daughter to suicide in 2004. She has been involved in events like the Yellow 5k Fun Run ever since.

"You've suffered a devastating loss if you lose a child, or even a parent or a friend or relative," Kreuger said. "I think it's really, really important, and absolutely wonderful to see people come out here,"

The Suicide Prevention Center in St. Joseph County offers classes to high school students. The classes are a part of the Yellow Ribbon Program. The classes provide students with facts, warning signs and risk factors associated with suicide. "It is amazing how students will get quiet when you start talking about a serious issue like suicide," Suicide Prevention Program Director Tracy Schneider said.

The money raised at the run will go to the Suicide Prevention Center to offer more classes to high school students. These classes are provided for free to the schools. The Yellow Ribbon Program has two trainers who lead the classes.

"There is a stigma associated with suicide and through this event we are hoping to bring it out to the open a little more," Schneider said.

The organization also hosts a Race to Save Lives run in the fall. This run will be held on November 8.

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