BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Uphill Climb 5K and Walk gave people in Baton Rouge the chance to get together and spread awareness about mental health.
September is known as Suicide Prevention Month.
The Department of Homeland Security says suicide is a problem that touches the lives of many Americans.
Behind the Line and Baton Rouge General Hospital partnered with multiple agencies to host their 2nd Annual Uphill 5K and Walk. The walks started four years ago but due to COVID-19 protocols, gatherings were shut down.
Rendy Richard, president of Behind the Line, says their organization helps with the mental health of officers.
“We’re advocates for that,” he said.
One of the runners, Vicki Thompson, knows how demanding being a police officer can be.
The things that police officers see on a daily basis are things that, you know, most people can’t even imagine,” Thompson said.
Thompson runs for her husband, Bryan Thompson.
“My husband worked for BRPD, he was an officer, and in 2018 he took his life,” Thompson said.
Organizers had to change the route plans due to the weather but some think the plans were for the better.
The 5k had over200 runners, and over 90 Louisiana State Police Troopers alone, showing how law enforcement wants to help those who lost a loved one with their climb.
Kyle Callihan, a retired BRPD officer, was one of the organizers who helped plan the course. The 5k means a lot to him.
“You hear that terminology so much, I really want to embrace that idea and actually make them and the route “an uphill climb” literally the last half mile is up a parking garage,” Calihan said.
Each runner at the end of the course received a medal for completing the course.