Tallahassee Residents Run for Suicide Awareness and Prevention


Photo Credit: Fred Deckert

The National Alliance on Mental Illness Tallahassee(NAMI) held the Bluebird Run and Walk for  Brook Bowers, also known as Brookie B. Monday morning.

Brookie B. was a 31-year-old who committed suicide after dealing with depression and borderline personality disorder.

NAMI- Tallahassee aimed to create an event where people of all ages and ethnicities could come together to have some fun while supporting a great cause.

Marvin Beekmann, a Computer Engineering student at Florida State University (FSU), expressed his thoughts on suicide prevention.

“Suicide awareness is a big problem today and I feel like we’re not talking about it enough because it is affecting a lot of people but they’re all silent about it,” Beekmann said. “I think this is a good cause to really spread awareness and show people that there is help available.”  

Many people at the event felt like they could relate to issues dealing with mental illness and suicide.

Doris Strong, a Multi-Cultural Outreach representative of NAMI- Tallahassee shared how she got involved with NAMI.

“I have a son that’s bi-polar/schizophrenia that lives with me,” Strong said. “That’s how I got involved with NAMI.”   

Residents of Tallahassee and the surrounding areas got to choose if they would like to participate in a 5k loop course or a one mile fun run.  

Water stations were provided at the half-way mark to keep runners hydrated, allowing them to take a break and gauge how much of the course they still have left to conquer.

The 5k loop course ran through J.R. Alford Greenway displaying a grassy meadow on one side and woods on the other.

Runners passed by many bluebird houses that were placed throughout the greenway.  

During the one mile fun run, participants had the opportunity to cross the Lafayette Heritage Canopy Bridge, viewing Lake Piney Z from the tree-top level.

FSU student, Theo Vicencio, said that the race was more competitive for him than recreational.

“I like to compete with myself every time I exercise,” he said. “I try to do better every time and every time I try to get better. It’s for a good cause so its good fun.”

If you know an individual who is having thoughts of suicide, encourage them to contact the Suicide Hotline at (850) 224-NEED (6333), and for more information on future events hosted by NAMI- Tallahassee, visit http://www.nami-tallahassee.org/.