Emergency Contacts, Lifelines, and Suicide Prevention Information and Resources

Suicide statistics in the U.S.

• Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. for all ages. (CDC)

• Everyday, approximately 123 Americans die by suicide. (CDC)

• There is one death by suicide in the U.S. every 12 minutes. (CDC)

• Depression affects 20-25% of Americans ages 18+ in a given year. (CDC)

• Suicide takes the lives of over 44,965 Americans every year. (CDC)

• Only half of all Americans experiencing an episode of major depression receive treatment. (NAMI)

• 80%-90% of people who seek treatment for depression are treated successfully using therapy and or medication. (TADS study)

• An estimated quarter million people each year become suicide survivors. (AAS)

Resource:
https://save.org/about-suicide/suicide-facts/

Suicide is a leading cause of death in the U.S.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) WISQARS Leading Causes of Death Reports, in 2017:

  • Suicide was the tenth leading cause of death overall in the United States, claiming the lives of over 47,000 people.
  • Suicide was the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10 and 34, and the fourth leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 35 and 54.
  • There were more than twice as many suicides (47,173) in the United States as there were homicides (19,510).

Resource:
https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/suicide.shtml

No suicide attempt should be dismissed or taken lightly.


Why do people attempt suicide?

“A suicide attempt is a clear indication that something is gravely wrong in a person’s life. No matter the race or age of the person; how rich or poor they are, it is true that most people who die by suicide have a mental or emotional disorder. The most common underlying disorder is depression, 30% to 70% of suicide victims suffer from major depression or bipolar (manic-depressive) disorder.”

Resource:
https://www.mhanational.org/conditions/suicide


Do you know what to do if you think that someone is considering suicide?

If You Think Someone Is Considering Suicide:

• Trust your instincts that the person may be in trouble.

• Talk with the person about your concerns. Communication needs to include LISTENING.

* Listen to understand. *

You don’t have to know all of the answers or even some of the answers, just being with a person can be powerful.

• Ask direct questions without being judgmental. Determine if the person has a specific plan to carry out the suicide. The more detailed the plan, the greater the risk.

• Get professional help, even if the person resists.

• Do not leave the person alone.

• Do not swear to secrecy.

• Do not act shocked or judgmental.

• Do not counsel the person yourself.

Resource:
https://www.mhanational.org/conditions/suicide


List of national emergency resources for suicide prevention, substance abuse disaster distress, domestic violence, child abuse, adult and elderly abuse

Finish Stronger Counseling – Emergency Contacts and Lifelines

* Please note that this list may be subject to change as organizations, companies, and government update their websites and other information. *


Check out these charities and articles to find out how you can help

Charity Navigator


American Foundation for Suicide Prevention


Very Well Mind – Leading Mental Health Charities and Organizations


The Recovery Village – Mental Health First Aid for Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors


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Connoquenessing Valley Heritage Trail, PA

Ideas to Raise Awareness and Funds for Mental Illness

Awareness is great,

but taking action is ESSENTIAL.

Why is Raising Awareness for Mental Health Important?

Raising awareness is important because it becomes easier to identify mental illness, which leads to faster treatment, which then leads to better treatment results. One out of four people suffer from a mental illness, and it impacts EVERYONE, not just the person with the illness! This includes our family, friends and close community members. This is why it is important that we work together to raise awareness and break the stigma of mental illness.

By becoming more aware and knowledgeable of mental health, we can break the stigma, and mental illness might become easier to understand. Breaking the stigma means that we would be shifting negative misconceptions and behaviors of the community towards the positive side. Knowledge and taking appropriate actions towards accepting people struggling with a mental illness would make a HUGE difference.

Raising awareness for mental health is a PRIORITY because there is a high demand.

Read more about the importance of raising awareness here


Raising Awareness and Funds Ideas

  • Use artwork to spread the word: Graffiti party; make a sign for your yard; hang a poster for in the window of your house; hang a paper in your classroom; paint rocks and place them around the neighborhood or local park; use chalk to create messages on the sidewalk; yarn bombing; etc.
  • Create an athletic event: Local homerun derby; a race; a bowling tournament; cycle or run across your state or country; corn hole tournament; potato sack race; CrossFit or weightlifting competition; pushup competition; hiking event; golf tournament; frisbee golf tournament; triathlon; obstacle course race; etc.
  • Community: Neighborhood or church cookout; BINGO night; go kart race; school fair; school play; put on a concert; cinema night; plant a garden; dedicate a bench in memory of someone who passed away; scavenger hunt; hold a dinner and have a guest speaker; kite flying event; etc.
    • Write about mental health: share your story in a public space; write a blog, book or article; poetry; etc.
    • Media: use social media as a platform; create a short film; create an online photo gallery; etc.
    • Write about mental health: share your story in a public space; write a blog, book or article; poetry; etc.
    • Media: use social media as a platform; create a short film; create an online photo gallery; etc.

    Use your talent and creativity, the sky is the limit!

    Get involved with National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

    • Plan an in-person fundraising event for your community.
    • Celebrate a milestone, special occasion or holiday by supporting NAMI in lieu of gifts.
    • Design your own online campaign to raise awareness and support NAMI.
    • Create a memorial page for a loved one you’ve lost as a meaningful, lasting tribute.
    • Undertake a physical challenge and keep yourself motivated by supporting NAMI.

    Additional Ideas on Taking Action

    Anxiety and Depression Association of America

  • Share your story, project (school projects, too!) or fundraiser. Visit the “Understand the Facts” section to learn more about anxiety, depression and other co-occurring and related mental health illnesses. Become a member of their online member community.

  • Article from Verywell that covers information on the leading mental health charities and organizations.

  • Learn how to be an advocate. Mental Health America National Institute of Mental Health, which is dedicated to clinical research, and they have free brochures, booklets and e-books that can help educate the public. National Alliance on Mental Health American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Child Mind Institute. This organization is an invaluable resource to parents. https://childmind.org/ Other resources

  • 5 ways to raise awareness during May (mental health month).

  • Take to social media to inspire others to get involved. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc. Use these hashtags to reach a larger audience: #MentalHealthMatters #MentalHealthAwareness #EndTheStigma #MentalHealthMonth #MHM #StigmaFree #IntoMentalHealth
  • Encourage others to share your posts
  • Encourage open communication
  • Share screening tools
  • Contact your legislators
  • Support advocacy efforts
  • For more details, follow the link

  • National Alliance on Mental Illness

  • How to get involved and become a leader.
  • NAMI Walk
  • Become a fundraiser
  • Attend a NAMI National Convention
  • Pledge to be stigma free
  • Awareness events
  • Partner with NAMI
  • Share your story
  • More! NAMI is awesome

  • GoFundMe tips on making a larger impact with your fundraiser.

  • Mental health fundraising
  • Expand your knowledge
  • Start a conversation
  • Craft care packages
  • Share your story
  • Go social
  • Host a community-wide fundraising event
  • Go to the website to learn more details and to create a mental health fundraiser.
  • Visit their other resources.
  • Mental health fundraising spreads joy and positivity.

    Physical Challenges

    Mental Health America’s #4Mind4Body Challenge

  • This is such a cool challenge.
  • Something for everyday in the month of May.
  • It will positively impact your life… and maybe even those around you.
  • Learn about #MindfulMonday #TastyTuesday #WorkplaceWednesday #ThoughtfulThursday #FitnessFriday #StressFreeSaturday #SleepWellSunday
  • Mental and physical wellness; eating; mindfulness; anxiety triggers; sleep; motivation; gratitude; brain; inspiration; celebration; thoughtfulness.

  • Pushup Challenge

    I took on the 25 Pushups for 25 Days Challenge to raise awareness for mental health and suicide (including suicide prevention), you can read about how to do the challenge here and also watch my pushup videos.

    View my Pushup Challenge on YouTube. The video contains statistics on mental health and suicide

    Walks

    MentalHelp.net An American Addictions Center Resource’s fun ways to raise awareness about the importance of mental health.

  • NAMI Walks
  • Out of the Darkness Walks
  • The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
  • I Rock the Walk for Mental Health Awareness, Active.com group.

  • NAMI Walks

  • A National Day of Hope
  • Tools and resources to magnify your efforts.
  • There are THOUSANDS of participants and MILLIONS of dollars raised.

  • More Organizations to Visit

    REHABSPOT

  • Substance use can be a roadblock for many people.
  • Free self-help resource about drugs, alcohol, addiction, and recovery.
  • The benefits of rehab and about services.

  • Charity Navigator Your Guide to Intelligent Giving

  • Disasters and natural disaster support
  • COVID-19 top nonprofits
  • Humanitarian and civil rights
  • Protecting the environment
  • Thank you for your efforts.

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    To All the Active and Runner Moms Who Experience “Mom Guilt”

    [Note: I’m writing this from the perspective as a mother and an athlete, I feel the “mom guilt” creep in periodically, as I strive to balance training and motherhood. This short letter can be to any mother who experiences “mom guilt” and or who needs to make sure that they’re taking enough care of themselves. I hope that you find comfort and empowerment in this letter if you feel alone and have difficulty choosing self-care, I know it is not always easy. Being a mom isn’t always easy, but it is wonderful.]

    Dear moms

    We all experience “mom guilt” and sometimes it occurs when it’s time to go out and run, but just because you go out on a run, doesn’t mean that you stop being a mom. You’re a mom taking care of yourself, enjoy your run. Enjoy everything you do without feeling guilty. Give yourself grace, leave guilt at the door, and acknowledge all of the good things that you do as a mother.

    Self-care

    Self-care is crucial as a mom, it makes us better moms when we return from our activities because running and exercise greatly boosts our wellness, both physical and mental. We typically return to our “mini me’s” with more patience, a clearer mind, reduced negativity, better managed anxiety and depression, regulated emotions, boosted happiness, increased self-esteem… The bottom line, a lot of good comes from running and exercise, so take advantage of it.

    If you struggle taking care of yourself

    You deserve to take care of yourself, even if you have poking negative thoughts and beliefs saying that you don’t. Sometimes, we get caught in a cycle of negative thinking, and when this repeats itself over and over, it reinforces itself. Reinforcements create beliefs. Identify the negative and faulty thoughts and beliefs. Remember, thoughts are thoughts, not facts. Next, change your narrative and self-talk, rewriting your beliefs about yourself. Highlight your strengths, growing confidence and self-esteem. What do you do well? Keep up with managing negative thoughts and beliefs to foster change. You’ve got this!

    From your child’s persepective

    Your child sees you as a role model and notices that you’re taking care of yourself. Role modeling this teaches them the importance of self-care, as well as goal setting and chasing dreams. They look up to you. I doubt that our children negatively think of us the same ways that we think of ourselves. Our children love us and rely on us to take care of ourselves, so that we can take care of them.

    Get after it!

    ~ Shannon

    I found this feather on my run and brought it home for my daughter.

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    4 Ways to Reduce Anxiety

    People are under an increased amount of stress due to the ongoing pandemic, which has no concrete ending. People who don’t have a mental illness disorder, such as anxiety, are also experiencing mental health vulnerabilities during this time. They report having issues like difficulty concentrating, difficulty remembering things, sleep disturbance, and decreased mood.


    4 “M”s in mental health

    • Mindfulness
    • Mastery
    • Movement
    • Meaningful connection

    Mindfulness

    Mindfulness is living in the present moment in a non-judgmental way, and practicing it fosters awareness. People who have completed a mindful activity say that they feel more calm and peaceful afterwards. Download and use mindfulness apps on your phone, follow along on a YouTube video, and try a variety of other mindful activities like the three below. Building mindfulness takes practice because it is a skill.

    Read about what mindfulness is here.

    Mindfulness 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Grounding Technique

    Mindfulness Walk Activity

    10 Minute Guided Mindfulness Meditation for Anxiety YouTube video.


    Mastery

    Mastery is about engaging your mind and doing what you’re good at. Ways of engaging can be tasks as simple as cooking and cleaning. Other ways of engaging your mind include creative writing and expressing yourself through art or music. Mastery can be thought of as a form of distraction. Lastly, it can be thinking about what we have already overcome in life.


    Movement

    Physical movement, such as walking, weightlifting, running, hiking, yoga, writing, painting, playing an instrument, and dancing are all ways to keep moving forward. Movement helps our minds de-stress and feel better. Another benefit is that mood is boosted.


    Meaningful Connection

    Stay connected to people. If you can’t meet in-person, then stay in-touch through video chatting, social media, phone calls, and sending letters in the mail. Another idea of staying connected is by having a digital picture frame and sharing the “add photos” link with your extended family. Then, extended family members can upload pictures to your frame. This is a good way to see what they (and their pets) have been up to.

    Nixplay picture frame


    These four tips take 10-15 minutes per day and everyone can apply them.

    We should be taking advantage of mental wellness strategies like these daily to build up resiliency and improve overall wellbeing. Everyone should have mental health preparedness for situations like the pandemic. People need a list of resources and coping strategies. People should also re-engage with their mental health treatment professional or seek out one if counseling is new to them. Needing support from a professional does not mean that you are weak.

    Watch psychiatrist, Sue Varma’s 03:31 video, practical tips to reduce anxiety here. The video is from March, 2020 during the Coronavirus pandemic, however it is still applicable today.

    If you haven’t subscribed to my mental wellness blog yet, please enter your email below. I’d love to send you free tips and resources.

    Taking Care of Your Emotional Health During a Disaster

    Information from the CDC on taking care of your emotional health during a disaster.
    A few steps that you can follow:

    • Take care of your body.
    • Connect with others.
    • Take breaks.
    • Stay informed.
    • Avoid too much exposure to the news.
    • Seek help when needed.

    Common signs of distress to look for:

    • Feelings of numbness, disbelief, anxiety or fear.
    • Changes in appetite, energy and activity levels.
    • Difficulty concentrating.
    • Difficulty sleeping or nightmares and upsetting thoughts and images.
    • Physical reactions, such as headaches, body pains, stomach problems, and skin rashes.
    • Worsening of chronic health problems.
    • Anger or short-temper.
    • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs.

    * If you are experiencing these feelings or behaviors for several days in a row and are unable to carry out normal responsibilities because of them seek professional help. *
    There is further information and additional resources on CDC’s website, here.

    Jennings Environmental Education Center, Moraine State Park, PA

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    Plant-Based Mental Health Counselor (and Plant-Based Doctors Directory)

    Are you looking for a plant-based doctor or professional guidance on going plant-based?

    Visit Plant-Based Doctors to find the right healthcare professional for you!

    Plant-based counselor

    Did you know that I’m a plant-based counselor?

    I’ve been vegan for years, and I greatly care about being proactive towards my health and the environment.

    I strive to encourage people to have a well-balanced lifestyle and to not only work on their mental health, but their physical health, as well.

    If you think we’d be a good fit to work together, reach out and I’d be happy to answer your questions. – I’m not a certified dietitian, though I will probably recommend you find one if you need one. — I have experience working with people who battle eating disorders.

    Beach Ball Metaphor for Coping with Emotional Dysregulation

    I first heard of the beach ball metaphor while watching a video through PESI (one of my continuing education providers). Arielle Schwartz, PhD uses the beach ball metaphor to explain how we can manage our dysregulated emotions. Arielle Schwartz, PhD provides a mind-body healing exercise that can help trauma survivors process their negative emotions without becoming overwhelmed by them.

    I hope that you find this metaphor helpful in understanding how we can better regulate our emotions and nourish our nervous systems.

    Beach Ball

    Imagining something that we don’t want to hold or feel. – This is the beach ball. We’re pushing it down and trying to hold it under water. It wants to come back up to the surface. Sometimes, we do this temporarily, called “containment,” as we run to the store or parent the kids, then return. If we’re constantly and chronically trying to hold the ball down, avoidance, at some point, it is exhausting and taxing. This can lead to causing other issues, the ball coming up and causing a splash. Then, we have to gather the ball back up and push it down.

    We want to understand the dysregulated feeling or memory. We want to turn towards it. Understand the sensation and emotion in small parts, at a slower, appropriate pace, so that the ball comes to the surface without making a big splash. We have a little more control and can push it back down.

    We do this therapeutically. “Pendulation” (meaning, turning towards the distress) in small, tolerable parts, taking off some pressure. Next, we pendulate from the distress and turn towards the resource. A resource can be the therapeutic relationship, or the breath, or a cue of safety (like a flower or plant in the room, or something out the window), so we oscillate between the stress and ease. We take a break, and then, check-in. The pattern is distress, then resource, distress, resource, distress, resource.

    This combats the “negativity bias,” (meaning we are wired for survival and to scan our environment for threats). We need to consciously counteract this by looking for the good and nourishing our nervous system. Nourishing can look like a relationship with someone who feels safe, or our pet, who we feel connected to.  

    Death Valley National Park, CA

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    Do You Think That You Have Imposter Syndrome?: and what to do about it

    Do I belong here? Who am I to be doing this sort of work? I feel like a fraud, though I’m not doing anything wrong, but sometimes this feels wrong.

    Dealing with imposter syndrome can be confusing. Someone who is feeling like an imposter may have these thoughts and emotions, one side telling you that you’re a fraud and the other working to rationalize the situation.

    Note: Imposter syndrome is not an official psychiatric diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual (DSM-5).

    Who can be affected?

    It’s common to have these thoughts of feeling like a fraud in an academic or work setting. Many people, both women and men, including experts in their field, will experience it. People in the helping and healing fields, like mental health professionals, also go through this. They may think something along the lines of, why do people come to ME for support with their issues?

    Graduate students may experience this imposter sensation because they are at an in-between phase of professional development. They tend to feel unprepared and don’t fully acknowledge their strengths as they begin their career.

    Why does this happen?

    People will feel like they’re lacking a certain skill to get the job done. Realistically, people who are working in a constantly evolving field are sharpening their skills and learning new ones quite frequently to keep up with new technologies and research findings. There is an infinite amount of information to learn and an equal amount of skillful work to be done.

    Remember, nobody is perfect and mistakes will be made, especially when someone is stepping into a new career. Not only should people acknowledge that their skills need dialed in, people need to also acknowledge their strengths.

    The people who don’t acknowledge their capabilities and efforts tend to attribute their accomplishments to external causes, like luck, good timing, or effort that they can’t regularly expend.

    If you are having difficulty pinpointing your strengths

    If someone is struggling to recognize their strengths, a good way to figure out what those are is to schedule some time with a pen and paper and reflect on times that you handled something well.

    • What was the problem?
    • How did you handle it?
    • What were your strengths?
    • How can you use those strengths now?

    Another way of finding strengths is to list achievements.

    • What short-term goals have you accomplished? These can be as simple as time management or maintaining a weekly schedule.
    • What long-term goals have you accomplished?
    • What were your strengths?
    • How can you use those now?

    Journaling about talent that you use in school or on the job may be useful.

    If someone is still having difficulty thinking of their strengths, they can ask someone whom they are close to, who knows them well, and are comfortable asking that person to list three things that they are good at. Next, the person should take those three things and journal about times they used those characteristics, and lastly, how to apply them in the present. Everyone has things they’re good at.

    Recognizing expertise is important. People tend to be overly self-critical, on a level that is self-defeating or unhelpful. Over time, this behavior is destructive and likely smothering out productivity. If someone is working in Information Technology (IT) and they recognize a weakness in a skill, instead of playing into unhelpful thoughts, remembering what what one does well and playing to their strengths will combat this. It’s important to strengthen the weaker skill, but the person also must recall that they are good at. If the IT worker has strong communication and group work skills, then simply highlighting those should help. One can’t always be good at everything. Then, they can communicate to their team where they need assistance in getting the job done.

    Pressure to achieve

    Pressure to achieve comes from many places. People experience pressure to perform at a higher level from their peers, colleagues, managers, themselves, and messages from society (Think about the American culture, where it is practically a badge of honor to be overworked. This is an unhealthy habit.). Society’s message is that we must always achieve.

    Research shows that certain people are more susceptible to fraudulent feelings stemming from their family’s beliefs on achievement and how parents praised or criticized their child.

    Perfectionism

    One thing to be mindful of when going through imposter syndrome is perfectionism. People will attempt to do everything perfectly and might have an “all-or-nothing” mindset. Being aware and weary of perfectionism is important because it can lead to unnecessary stress and anxiety. “All-or-nothing” thinking is a cognitive distortion and should be reframed (Refer to the cognitive reframing article on how to reframe unhelpful thoughts into helpful ones).

    Change your thinking by checking your irrational thoughts and practice reframing them. Read about cognitive reframing.

    Interesting info and more answers to burning questions

    Feel Like a Fraud?

    Imposter Syndrome

    A Psychologist Explains How to Deal with Imposter Syndrome

    10 Steps You Can Use to Overcome Imposter Syndrome

    TED Videos

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    Friendly Reminder: Understanding and Protecting Your Mental Health

    Friendly reminder

    Please, take care in understanding and protecting your mental health. Grow your understanding by reading and listening to credible resources.

    Just a few thoughts

    If you use social media or the internet to find information, use caution, as there are people who spread misinformation about mental health. – People who are lifestyle bloggers, coaches, or celebrities (people who probably don’t have an educational degree on the subject). Always get the professional’s advice.

    Expand your resources and tools. If you’ve never listened to a podcast episode on mental health, consider listening one day while cooking dinner. Subscribe to a mental health care professional’s YouTube channel. Buy a new book that sounds really interesting. You could start a wish list of books and workbooks on Amazon or write them in your journal. Having more valuable resources at your fingertips helps you to further understand and protect your mental health.

    Other’s mental health

    Also, take the time to learn about how mental health affects everyone differently. We will all likely respond in dissimilar ways to issues and crisis. Many people struggle in silence and still carry on throughout their day doing the best that they can. A struggle isn’t always fully apparent.

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    WAYS TO STRENGTHEN RUNNER’S BODY IMAGE AND POSITIVITY

    As runners, we need to make sure that we’re protecting our body image and promoting body positivity. Acknowledge that all of our bodies are different, setting aside judgments, opinions, and expectations of what our body should look like as runners. Know that all of our bodies are incredible and capable of so much. They can go ultra distances, but on a cellular functional level they are more impressive. Appreciate, love, and respect that.

    Self-care is obviously very important. Appropriate recovery and nutrition, among all of the other ways that we support our bodies.

    We have to check our negative and distorted thoughts about our bodies. What kind of thoughts are you having about your body? What are you doing with those thoughts? Are you taking care of yourself? Positive affirmations, caring thoughts, embracing ourselves how we are in the moment, and focusing on the resiliency of our bodies are a few ways to go about promoting healthier and more realistic thoughts. Remember, thoughts are just thoughts, what you choose to do with them is what matters! We all experience negative thoughts.

    It’s okay to want to improve our bodies and become sharper athletes. Make sure you’re going about it in the right way and not causing harm or injury.

    Be present and content with how you are because our bodies do so much for us, they change day-to-day, anyway. Give thanks to your body, even the challenging parts. Forgive yourself for things that you have said or done to your body that you shouldn’t have. A good way to do this is to look at yourself in the mirror and repeat these things, allowing them to settle into your heart. Let yourself heal.

    When hurtful words and actions come from other people, we don’t have control over that. We choose to control how we react. Have some sort of comeback or body positive affirmation in your back pocket for when this occurs. Protect yourself, stand up for yourself. A ton of people out there will have something negative to say about your body. It sucks, it shouldn’t happen, but try to not allow it to take a hold of you. You’re better than that and you’re worth it. Plain ignoring the person is fine, but it feels better saying something positive about your body. Better yet, if you say something amazing about the part of your body that they are judging or criticizing. Use your strength and take a stand.

    You know what’s best for your body, but if you’re honestly struggling with body image and eating, reach out for support. Strengthen yourself through people who are there to help you. It’s alright to need any level of help with something. You could contact a professional mental health counselor, someone who specializes in body image and eating. Dietitians and nutritionists. A running coach, maybe even one who is certified in nutrition. For a good shot at getting the best support for you, make sure that they are a good fit to work with.

    As a running community, let’s continue the conversation, sticking together on issues like this, and lifting each other up. Thank you for reading.

    Breakneck Falls, McConnell Mills State Park

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