Mind Springs hosts 3rd annual Pedal For Prevention event | SteamboatToday.com

Mind Springs hosts 3rd annual Pedal For Prevention event

Team Skramblers of Glenwood Springs ride their bikes around Garfield County to spread awareness of suicide prevention during the Pedal For Prevention event in Sept. 2021.
Danyelle Rigli/Courtesy photo

In recognition of suicide prevention awareness month, Mind Springs Foundation is hosting its third annual Pedal For Prevention event on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 24-25. 

The event aims to get people off their couch and enjoy a social activity while raising funds and spreading awareness of suicide prevention. All of the proceeds from the event go toward the services provided by Mind Springs Health.

Mind Springs Foundation is a philanthropic branch of Mind Springs Health and West Springs Hospital. The foundation raises money for mental health services in its 10-county area that includes Routt County. 

Roger Sheffield, the president of Mind Springs Foundation, says the event is all about getting participants in a mindful situation and taking part in any activity from bowling to biking. One year, there was even a group who played card games to get active. 

“There are really a lot of different group activities that get people to raise awareness for suicide prevention and gets them in a place where they are not alone,” Sheffield said. “They are socializing, they are getting out and doing an activity.” 

Suicide is the fourth-leading cause of death in the U.S. among people ages 18-65 and claims more than 46,000 American lives each year, according to the Mind Springs Foundation website. As a state, Colorado has the ninth highest suicide rate in the U.S. 

Sheffield highlighted that while suicide has been an issue for a long time, mental health only recently became a common public conversation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Steamboat local Judy Ward takes a selfie while on a hike during the second annual Pedal For Prevention event in Sept. 2021.
Danyelle Rigli/Courtesy photo

“September is suicide prevention awareness month and with that, we just wanted to start an activity in our counties that would raise the profile of suicide prevention and awareness programs throughout western Colorado,” Sheffield said. “We also wanted to have some fun and raise some funds to help us with our suicide prevention activities throughout each of our 10 counties.”

Some groups have even joined the event from other states with teams in California and Nebraska emerging. Steamboat locals have organized several teams including the Steamboat Springs Police Department who gathered a group to participate. 

“I believe police work is a community thing,” said law enforcement administrator Jamie Malone. “I believe we have to be involved in the community and engaged in the community in order to know what is going on and to serve better. I think it helps with understanding both us of the public and the public of us.”

The officers plan to hike over the weekend and see the event as a great way to be involved with the county while supporting a great cause. 

The overall goal for Sheffield and Mind Springs Foundation is to get people more comfortable talking about suicide and mental health.

“We’re just trying to get the awareness out there and help people realize that it’s actually good to talk about suicide because that gives people suffering the opportunity to say it out loud,” Sheffield said.

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