Suffering from depression? You’re not alone. More than 20 million adults in the United States are living with depression, and that comes to one in every 10. Just knowing you’re not alone can help, but it isn’t enough.
The good news? The Hope for Depression Research Foundation can help—and so can you!
On Saturday, May 14, HDRF is set to host its first annual National Virtual Race of Hope to Defeat Depression. Yes, it’s a virtual race, which means anyone around the country and the world can participate to raise funds for important depression and anxiety research and treatment.
The race is held in honor of Mental Health Awareness month, which runs throughout May. Hundreds of runners and walkers have already signed up, and you and your friends can too.
“It’s incredible to see so many people dedicated to health come together for the cause of mental health research,” HDRF Founder and Chair Audrey Gruss says in a press release. “As rates of anxiety and depression have risen dramatically during the pandemic, they know that HDRF’s work to find the root causes of depression in the brain and new treatments is more important than ever.”
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The sad truth is that one American dies by suicide every 11 minutes. That comes to more than 47,000 people per year. Depression is also the leading cause of disability worldwide, but it doesn’t have to stay this way.
HDRF’s National Virtual Race is actually a spin-off of the Races of Hope in Palm Beach and Southampton, each of which has raised about $2 million for research since 2016. Going virtual gives HDRF the opportunity to register more racers and raise even more funds.
Racers can participate in their choice of a 5k, 10k, 15k or Half Marathon. Those who register will receive yellow gear in the mail, to make the race feel more real.
When it’s time to hit the pavement (or field, or track or even treadmill), racers can hop on a 60-minute broadcast that will be livestreamed on Facebook starting at 8:15 am ET. Organizers hope racers tune in and participate, posting pictures and comments, letting folks know they’re at the starting line or taking water breaks.
The broadcast will also touch on the importance of the mission, complete with interviews from influential doctors, mile dedications, open forums, and other learning and support.
It costs $45 to register and the first 500 to sign up receive a race jacket, hat, bottle, bib and finisher medal. All funds raised go directly to depression and anxiety research. Learn more and sign up for the fun at Virtual.RaceOfHopeSeries.com.
Photography by: Caryn Leigh