Race to Stop Suicide was established in 2018. A meeting with Halifax Health on another topic spawned this initiative. Certainly, at the time this effort was established, there was a tremendous need. However, with the effects of Covid-19 and the isolation we have all experienced, mental health issues have reached epidemic proportions. Unfortunately, the demographic is massive. From the youngest recorded Suicide at the age of 6 years old to the most senior of our world. Those in school to those in the military. Professionals at all levels. The entertainment industry and professional sports. In other words, it affects us all.
We have chosen to use the professional racing platform to deliver our message because it is unique and its massive television and social media audience. Specifically NASCAR. Again it is the most recognized racing organization in our country and arguably the world. Our efforts include establishing Race to Stop Suicide as a nationally trademarked organization. This helps us deliver a consistent message.
We are not mental healthcare professionals, but our initiative does include three pillars. First, create awareness through the normalization of the conversation. In other words, make it ok to talk about. Second, provide an entry-level amount of education. What to look for, symptoms, and simply a plan to check in and check up on people you suspect to be at risk. Additionally, to make it a bit easier to identify those at risk. And Third, to make sure those in need have access to resources.
Congress recently opened a new 3-digit number to help those with a mental health emergency. July 16 of 2022 saw the launch of the 988 Suicide & Crisis Hotline. This number connects to a mental health professional to help those in need speak with someone trained to deal with mental health issues. We experienced almost 40,000 interactions on social media alone on the July 16 weekend.
In addition to using the NASCAR platform, we do numerous other things to get our message across. Daniel is the most recognized spokesperson for Race to Stop Suicide. Daniel has done speaking engagements for middle schools, fraternal organizations like the Elks club, and numerous veterans organizations. He has spoken at Boys and Girls clubs and various television and social media interviews. In addition, he has done several PSA radio commercials and television spots.
Additionally, Daytona State College Foundation produced a five-episode TV series titled The Race to Stop Suicide. This series reached an estimated 6.3 million households, with Daniel as the featured spokesperson. And there are plans for a second series. Our partners are passionate about this effort. One of our race partners owns a company with 154 eighteen-wheelers. They travel from Virginia to Massachusetts. Over 80% of the fleet carries the Race to Stop Suicide on the back of the trucks along with the emergency number 988.
“Race To Stop Suicide”, a philanthropic initiative driven by Daniel Dye Racing and other community partners. The “Race to Stop Suicide” cause connects at-risk teens with mental health resources in our community. The message is simple: Suicide is not inevitable for anyone. By starting the conversation, providing support, and directing help to those who need it, RTSS Race to Stop Suicide can prevent suicides and save lives.
“Suicide affects all ages. Nationally, it is the second leading cause of death for people 10-34 years of age, the fourth leading cause among people 35-54 years of age and the eighth leading cause among people between the ages of 55 and 64. Here, in the Volusia-Flagler area, suicide rates are well above the state average. It’s clear we have a serious crisis taking place that we need to address,” explains James Terry, service line administrator for child and adolescent behavioral services at Halifax Health. He adds, “Halifax Health’s Connect 4 Hope initiative will hopefully assist in raising awareness of this crisis and providing our community with the resources necessary to prevent suicide.”
With the assistance of community partners SMA Healthcare; Randy Dye, owner of Daytona Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram & FIAT; Mission 22 and Volusia County Schools, Halifax Health has launched the Connect 4 Hope initiative which is committed to suicide prevention through community programs and events, and making educational tools and resources easily available to all ages – children, adolescents and adults.
For example, people who have experienced violence, including child abuse, bullying, or sexual violence have a higher suicide risk.
Evidence shows that providing support services, talking about suicide, reducing access to means of self-harm, and following up with loved ones are just some of the actions we can all take to help others.
Suicide is not inevitable for anyone. By starting the conversation, providing support, and directing help to those who need it, we can prevent suicides and save lives.
Many factors increase the risk for suicide or protect against it. Suicide is connected to other forms of injury and violence.
By offering immediate counseling to everyone that may need it, local crisis centers provide invaluable support at critical times and connect individuals to local services.
Suicide is a serious public health problem that has lasting harmful effects on individuals, families, and communities. The goal of suicide prevention is to reduce factors that increase risk and increase factors that promote resilience.
Suicide is the act of intentionally taking one’s own life. Suicide may be caused by a number of factors, including mental illness, financial difficulties, relationship problems, and substance abuse. Suicide is a serious problem that can have a profound impact on family, friends, and communities. Suicide is preventable, and there are many resources available to help those at risk. If you or someone you know is in crisis, please reach out for help. Call or Text 988 Right Away!
Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question. People die by suicide for a number of reasons. A suicide attempt is a clear indication that something is gravely wrong in a person’s life. The majority of people who take their lives (estimated at 90 percent) were suffering with an underlying mental illness and substance abuse problem at the time of their death. 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 illness, emotional disorder and/or chemical dependency. The most common underlying disorder is depression, with an estimated 60 percent of suicides were by people suffering from depression. However, it is very important to remember that the vast majority of people living with depression do not attempt or die by suicide.
Call 911 for all emergencies
If someone you know is expressing suicidal thoughts, it is important to take them seriously and seek professional help as soon as possible. Suicide is often the result of untreated mental illness, and most people who die by suicide do not actually want to die; they just want the pain to stop. If you are worried about someone you know, there are several things you can do to help. First, try to have an open and honest conversation with the person about their thoughts and feelings. Second, offer your support and let them know that you are there for them. Finally, encourage them to seek professional help, either through therapy or a crisis hotline. Text or Dial 988 right away!