HELENA — Seven years after a Jefferson high school student died by suicide, the community continues to rally to raise money for suicide prevention.
The 6th annual "Run for 75" raises money for suicide prevention resources across Montana, all while remembering a Jefferson high school student Dennis Karaseva.
“Dennis was such a beautiful person and he was so talented, artistic kind loving funny he was just a beautiful person,” said Liudmila Karaseva, Dennis' sister.
Dennis died by suicide in November of 2014. For his sister, having this event continuing seven years later mean a lot.
The run is currently organized by Jefferson High School Senior Luke Eckmann who says helping to create this event has has been impactful.
“Suicide is a hard topic in Montana, especially because it's so high but yeah, it just means a lot to help kids out. You know some kids are struggling everywhere,” said Eckmann.
Mental health organizations were at the run to remind students and residents of Boulder of the services available to them.
“This is this is super important, Jefferson High School students and their staff have done such a good job of bringing awareness to this cause, suicide prevention, and it is wonderful that NAMI Montana can be a part of that as we are a good resource for the communities in around the state of Montana,” said Colleen Rahn, the Education Director for National Alliance for Mental Illness Montana.
Jefferson County Suicide Prevention says that suicide continues throughout Montana.
“This challenge continues, and I think this is a great event to keep young people aware and we have a big crowd of young folks here right now, so it's great to see them come out for this and support it,” said Barb Writer, the Jefferson County Prevention Specialist.
Liudmila says the fact the event continues to help lift students and show them the mental health resources is touching.
“It's really beautiful that it's continued to something beyond just the pain and the individual experience of Dennis’s death into more of 'how can we learn from this?' 'how can we grow?', 'how can we use this to help other people?',” said Liudmila.
NAMI Montana, Montana Suicide Prevention, Lewis and Clark Suicide Prevention, and Jefferson County Mental Health were all in Boulder to show their support.
Eckmann wants to thank all of the sponsors of the event including Great Clips, Glitz Salon, and Uncommon Ground Realty.
If you or a loved one are having thoughts of suicide, please reach out.
The Montana Suicide Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255 or you can text “MT” to 741 741. The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.