Howard County Hosts First Light the Night 5K for Suicide Prevention


The Light the Night 5K was led by Chloe McGeehan who was a student member last year for the Howard County Recreation and Parks Park Board. Over 150 participants raised over $2,100 combined. Funds raised from Friday’s run will benefit both the Maryland Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Howard County Crisis Response Center in support of their mission to save lives and save lives. bring hope to those affected by suicide.

“I created Light the Night 5k for Suicide Prevention to provide resources and support to young people who, like me, have personally experienced the severe suicide statistics that plague our county and the broader community of Maryland. Running has helped me heal from loss, build physical and mental strength, and connect with new people,” said Chloe McGeehan. “I thought a 5k fundraiser would translate well to fundraising and much needed mental health awareness, especially because the CDC reports, ‘Some Benefits of Physical Activity on Brain Health occur right after a single bout of moderate to vigorous physical activity Ultimately, I want this 5k to serve as a county-wide recognition that we, the residents of Howard County, believe in mental health n is not only important, but an essential part of our collective community success.

“We are proud to be part of such a powerful event as Light the Night 5K, which will provide crucial financial support to programs committed to saving lives and being there for families,” said A. Raul Delerme. , director of the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks. “It’s inspiring to see so many people come together as a community to raise awareness.”

“We know that the last year and a half has been a particularly difficult time for many. It is important to talk about mental health and know that there is hope and help available,” said Dr. Maura J. Rossman, Howard County Health Officer “This event raises awareness about mental health as well as resources that can make a difference in the lives of our friends, family and community.”

“We at Grassroots are grateful to the organizers and supporters of Light the Night 5K,” said Executive Director Dr. Mariana Izraelson. “It has broadened understanding of mental health issues in our community, increased compassion for those affected by suicide, and generated funds for needed services. Thank you to everyone who participated, especially the young people who worked to make this event a success.

“Suicide continues to be the second leading cause of death for Americans ages 10 to 24, but we know there are ways to prevent suicide,” said Kat Olbrich.American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Area director. “The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention aims to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide by funding critical suicide research, educating communities about mental health and suicide prevention, advocating for mental health parity and providing support to suicide survivors. All of these efforts, combined with community events like this 5k run, will help create a smart mental health culture and save lives.

Suicide was the leading cause of death among young people ages 15 to 19 in Howard County between 2014 and 2016. In 2018, the Howard County Health Department reported that one in six high school students considered seriously about attempting suicide. This data was collected before the pandemic, meaning it does not describe the effects of isolation-related depression and financial stressors on families.

Additional resources to support you or if you are having suicidal thoughts: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), the Crisis text line by sending TALK to 741741, and the Project Trevor for LGBTQ+ communities at 1-866-488-7386.

Grassroots operates a 24-hour crisis response and support hotline; people can call 410-531-6677 for a variety of reasons, including suicide, family and relationship issues, housing needs, violent or threatening family situations, and more. To learn more, visit


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