Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services Hosts 17th Annual Alive & Running 5K Walk/Run for Suicide Prevention

Media Contact:
Tiffany Allegretti
LFPR (for Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services)
949-502-6200 ext. 218

Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services Hosts
17th Annual Alive & Running 5K Walk/Run for Suicide Prevention

CULVER CITY, Calif. September 29, 2015—Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, a leading provider of mental health services in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, dedicated its 17th Annual Alive & Running 5K Walk/Run on Sept. 27 to Dr. Norman L. Farberow, 97, who died earlier in the month from complications from a fall.  With more than 2,100 participants and volunteers, the record-breaking event held near Los Angeles International Airport raised about $325,000 for the agency’s Suicide Prevention Center, which was co-founded by Dr. Farberow and was the first in the nation.

“When Dr. Farberow started the Suicide Prevention Center almost 70 years ago, suicide was a taboo subject,” said Didi Hirsch President/CEO Dr. Kita S. Curry. “Today more than 62,000 people a year call our crisis line.  We want everyone in terrible psychological pain to ask for help, just like they would if they had a broken leg.”  

Tom Kenny, the actor and comedian who is the voice of SpongeBob SquarePants and Ice King from Adventure Time, emceed the event, which he described as “a mixture of triumph and tragedy and letting people tell their stories so others don’t have to suffer the same thing.”

“It is still amazing to me how suicide can happen without warning,” said Kenny, who lost a friend to suicide last year. “You might say, ‘How could his loved ones not see the signs?’ But people get very good at hiding their pain.”

Kenny demonstrated how to he creates SpongeBob’s signature laugh and described silliness as “a superpower—better than x-ray vision” for bringing a smile or a moment of joy to people who are hurting.

Alive & Running is a family-friendly event that celebrates life while remembering those lost to suicide and promoting Didi Hirsch’s life-saving suicide prevention services.  It included a memory tree where people could hang paper leaves with messages to loved ones lost to suicide, a Kiddie K and an EXPO with massages, balloons, Copenhagen Pastry treats, Kind Bars and water bottles from East-West Bank.

If you are thinking about suicide or are worried about someone, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). 

About the Didi Hirsch Suicide Prevention Center
With more than 70 years of experience, Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services transforms lives by providing quality mental health and substance abuse treatment in communities where stigma or poverty limits access. From 11 locations throughout Los Angeles and Orange Counties and about 100 schools, Didi Hirsch helps more than 90,000 children, families and adults each year.   Founded in 1958, Didi Hirsch’s Suicide Prevention Center helps people at risk of suicide, concerned loved ones and those who have lost someone to suicide. The first in the nation, Didi Hirsch’s Suicide Prevention Center has a 24/7 English/Spanish crisis line that answered more than 62,000 calls, chats and texts last year. It offers support groups for people who have attempted suicide or are grieving a suicidal loss and is one of five in the nation taking calls for the national Disaster Distress Helpline. Learn more at www.didihirsch.org or follow on Twitter and Facebook.