Eight runners hoping to raise awareness of suicide prevention.
On a remote section of Highway 19 north of Campbell River their bright yellow shirts are hard to miss.
They are members of the Heliset Hale relay run down Vancouver Island, the second in four years, one they hope to make an annual run for suicide prevention across the island.
“You’re not alone, that there’s people to reach out to and that we are here and that suicide is something that we can talk about, it’s not something that we have to brush under the rug or try not to speak about” said run founder and participant Kelly Paul on the message they want to spread.
Kelly Paul founded the run in 2013 just a few years after tragedy struck her family when her 17 year old brother took his own life.
It is a tragedy in our family and so wanting to take something that was so hard and difficult for our family to go through, turning a tragedy into something that can be healing and helping others along the way” she added.
And each of the runners has their own inspiration for participating in the run.
“I’ve had so many family and community members from the Saanich area that have committed suicide so for me I just, it feels good to be out here to bring the message to the communities that every life is important” said Angel Henry.
“I’ll do this and hopefully it inspires people” added Shyquintin Charlie.
First Nations communities experience suicide at twice the national average.
“When I realize the impact suicide has on First Nations people I wanted to do what I do best which is running and bring a healing back to our people and raise awareness of suicide prevention” said Bernice Smith.
The team is hoping to raise awareness and money to cover the cost of their trip and so far response has been good down the island.
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