STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) — More than 100 bikers hit the pavement at Shenandoah Harley-Davidson on Saturday to raise money for suicide prevention.
The annual ride — in its third year — came after an alarming new study from the Centers for Disease Control found a 25 percent increase in suicides in the United States between 1999-2016.
There was a 17 percent increase in Virginia during the period.
Five mental health organizations were on hand in Staunton, including the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Augusta Mental Health and Strength in Numbers.
“You can’t take on your mental challenges by yourself,” said Mark Ham, an event organizer. “There’s a suicide every 40 seconds. There are plenty of people out there that want to help, want to support you. There are all kinds of mental health groups all over the United States.”
Organizers said the more than $11,000 collected at the event will go to the American Foundation for Suicide and Mission 22, a non-profit that aims to prevent veteran suicide.
If you or somebody you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.