The 437 Project: the run for mental health advocacy

Published: Sep. 21, 2023 at 9:39 AM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Thursday, September 21, at 6 a.m., 12 runners started at the Western border and will spend the next 4 days relay racing to the Eastern border. All for mental health.

The 437 Project is a 437-mile run across the entire state of South Dakota, raising money for mental health and suicide prevention, by connecting physical health and mental health.

“The proceeds for the 437 Project go 100% to Helpline Center which is the only accredited Suicide prevention center in the state of South Dakota. Helps to support the 988 calls that they’re receiving to address any mental health calls and concerns,” says Kelly Marshall, the event organizer and a runner.

The Helpline Center saves thousands of people every year, and the runners know exactly the reason they are racing across the state for 4 long days.

“Seeing how mental health is such a major issue in our population is today and as a health care provider, it’s really rampant when you look at the instance rate of how not only mental health but then the suicide rates are continuing to be on the rise. So, to be a part of a project to not only prevent that but also raise awareness for it was an easy decision to be part of the project,” said 1st-year runner, Ross McDaniel.

Through the run, the participants hope to bring communities together, challenging themselves with every mile.

“The run was easier, the emotional part of it was the challenging part for me it was a life-changing experience because it gave me a perspective of you know, knowing why you are doing the challenge,” finished Benson Langat, a 2nd-year runner.

The race continues through Sunday, you can donate by heading to their website

If you or anyone you know needs help, call the national suicide hotline at 988.