Robbie’s Hope Foundation hosts first 5K HOPErun to combat suicide rates

GOLDEN, Colo. -- Runners hit the pavement in Golden on Sunday to honor the memory of a Lakewood High School student who died by suicide.

The 5K, benefiting Robbie’s Hope Foundation, aimed to bring awareness to teen depression and destigmatize mental illness. It’s the first of what’s planned to be an annual event.

The organization’s goal is to cut teen suicide rates in half by 2028, according to a news release.

“As parents, we were unaware of what an epidemic teen suicide is in our state,” Robbie’s mom, Kari Eckert, said. “We knew we needed to change that for other parents and for kids.”

Oct. 11 was when they lost their son, Robbie Eckert, to suicide.

“Losing Robbie, it impacted us,” said event leader and family friend Nicolle McKinney. “We just can’t even explain how it impacted us.”

Robbie’s Hope Foundation says it is dedicated to removing the stigma surrounding teen depression, anxiety and teen suicide.

Sunday’s run helped the group foster programs that aim to achieve youth-based, peer-to-peer interaction and advocacy, officials said.

Experts say help starts with conversations. Ask your children how they’re doing mentally and make sure they know they’re not alone.

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