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In celebration of the nonprofit’s 60 years of service, The MHP Community Challenge 2023 aims to raise $60,000 for harm reduction in Boulder and Broomfield counties.
LAFAYETTE, Colo., August 22, 2023 – Mental Health Partners (MHP) is excited to announce its 6th annual fundraising event, The MHP Community Challenge 2023. This year, MHP has set an ambitious goal to raise $60,000 to help save lives through suicide education and opioid overdose prevention. MHP is currently seeking participants, volunteers, and donations to join the Challenge and help save lives.
There are multiple ways to get involved in The MHP Community Challenge 2023. The self-paced Bike Challenge and Couch Challenge are going on now, allowing participants the flexibility to raise money at their own pace and time. The Challenge will culminate on Saturday, September 9th (the day before World Suicide Prevention Day) when a group of runners and hikers attempt to complete the Boulder Skyline Traverse, which is a grueling 19+ miles of difficult terrain traversing the five peaks that form Boulder’s iconic backdrop. Participants will cross the finish line at MHP’s Ryan Wellness Center (1000 Alpine Avenue, Boulder), where they’ll be joined in celebration by MHP staff and community members.
“The Traverse is difficult, which symbolizes the difficulties and struggles many folks in our community face when it comes to their mental health,” says Jay Winstead, an expert suicide prevention trainer and specialist at Mental Health Partners. “The Challenge is a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness about mental health and suicide prevention. By participating in this event, you are not only supporting a worthy cause but also sending a powerful message of hope to those who may be struggling.”
In addition to supporting suicide prevention awareness and education, funds raised during this year’s Challenge will be used to expand harm reduction and drug overdose prevention efforts in the community. Between 2020 and 2021, Colorado saw an almost 70% increase in fatal fentanyl overdoses. In response to this growing crisis, MHP has already begun developing a network of harm reduction kiosks throughout the Broomfield and Boulder communities that offer free NARCAN kits (an effective overdose reversal spray) and fentanyl testing strips.
Dr. Nadia Haddad, MHP’s Medical Director, shared her thoughts on the event, saying, “Recent data has shown that fentanyl now touches every corner of our community. Many people know someone impacted by opioids, whether they realize it or not – or struggle with addiction themselves. It is vital our community comes together to respond to the growing fentanyl crisis. The Challenge will help us expand harm reduction efforts and provide a much-needed lifeline to individuals facing substance use and mental health challenges.”
Unlike traditional races, the “winners” of the Traverse, Bike, and Couch Challenges are not determined by who finishes first or travels the greatest distance, but rather the individuals or teams that raise the most funds by September 9th. Ultimately, the entire community benefits directly from the funds raised during this event by gaining access to no-cost suicide and overdose prevention resources.
The MHP Community Challenge 2023 is supported by several local businesses and organizations – including presenting sponsor KeyBank, major sponsor Boulder Valley Rotary Club, sponsors Centennial Peaks Hospital, The Daily Camera, The Colorado Hometown Weekly, and partners Atlas Valley Purveyors, Nothing Bundt Cakes, and Buffs 4 Life.
“This important annual event wouldn’t be possible without support from our sponsors, community partners, and dedicated individuals who are passionate about suicide and opioid overdose prevention,” says Cindy Cohagen, MHP’s Director of Community Relations & Philanthropy. “Together, we can all help save lives.”
In addition to participants and donors, MHP is seeking volunteers to help assist runners and hikers on September 9th at aid stations and the finish line.
Visit the event website for more information about how to get involved:
About Mental Health Partners
Mental Health Partners (MHP) is a federally designated nonprofit organization dedicated to providing comprehensive mental health services to individuals in Boulder and Broomfield counties for the last 60 years. Since opening in Boulder in 1962, MHP has expanded to multiple communities (including Lafayette, Longmont, Broomfield and, most recently, Nederland) to meet the region’s growing mental health needs and better accomplish its mission. As one of seven SAMHSA Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) in Colorado, MHP offers a wide range of programs, including counseling, crisis intervention, and suicide prevention services. Learn more at MHPColorado.org.