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12 community leaders to run 437 miles for suicide prevention

TenHaken joins efforts with the Helpline Center to raise awareness surrounding mental health and suicide challenges.
Kristen De Berg, Lesley Fite-Boltjes, Ryan Flogstad, Wendy Johnson, Greg Koch, Benson Langat, ...
Kristen De Berg, Lesley Fite-Boltjes, Ryan Flogstad, Wendy Johnson, Greg Koch, Benson Langat, Dr. Whitney Lucas Molitor, Kelly Marshall, Alex Pool, Matt Smith, Allison Weber, And Paul TenHaken(Dakota News Now)
Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 2:54 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The aim of the 437 Project is to create awareness of the connection between physical and mental wellness.

Each year, over 48,000 people in the United States die by suicide leaving behind thousands of loved ones to endure this life-changing loss, according to a press release.

On September 22, 2022, a team of 12 community leaders will run 437 miles from Belle Fourche to Sioux Falls to raise funds for The Helpline Center, a resource for individuals affected by suicide. The race will conclude on Sunday, September 25, 2022.

The Helpline Center answers mental health and suicide-related calls on both 211 and National Suicide Prevention Lifeline phone lines. In 2021, the Helpline Center answered over 15,000 mental health-related calls, with over 2,500 of those being crisis calls.

“Connecting people to mental health support and hope is at the core of the Helpline Center’s mission. We are so proud to be a part of the 437 Project to raise awareness of mental health across South Dakota,” said The Helpline Center Chief Executive Officer, Janet Kittams.

A team of 12 community leaders, including Mayor Paul TenHaken, will endure the 437-mile run across the state alongside fellow community members who are passionate advocates of mental health.

“Mental health is as important as physical health, and we’re going to run across this entire state to bring awareness and focus to that conversation,” said TenHaken.

Other participating community leaders include:

● Kristen De Berg | Cardiovascular Genetic Counselor, Sanford Health

● Lesley Fite-Boltjes | RN, Sanford Hospital

● Ryan Flogstad | Sergeant, Sioux Falls Police Department

● Wendy Johnson | Director of Client Services, Electric Pulp

● Greg Koch | Owner and Founder, 605 Running Co.

● Benson Langat | Therapist, Family Service, Inc.

● Dr. Whitney Lucas Molitor | Assistant Professor, University of South Dakota

● Kelly Marshall | Account Risk Manager, Risk Administration Services

● Alex Pool | Integration Manager, The Helpline Center

● Matt Smith | Market President, Dacotah Bank in Sioux Falls

● Allison Weber | Relationship Manager, Fiserv

For more information about The 437 Project and this inaugural event, visit the437project.org.

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