Seven students from three local high schools: Red Bank Regional (RBR), Red Bank Catholic (RBC) and Rumson-Fair Haven (RFH) came together to raise funds for mental health programs and to increase awareness about mental health struggles and suicide. The students had many things in common but two main things stood out: The three high schools are located on or close to Ridge Road and all of them had been impacted by a tragic death by suicide. Together they decided to put their school rivalries aside and created the Ridge Road Run 5K for Suicide Prevention. The first race was held at RFH and proceeds were donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and The Mental Health Association of Monmouth County.
Ridge Road Run 5K supported the initial goal with students from each high school working together to continue raising funds and awareness to support their schools and community. The event was again well received and supported the efforts to bring awareness and suicide prevention initiatives to all three high schools. The second race was held at RBR. Funds raised were donated to The Source at Red Bank Regional, Red Bank Catholic, and Rumson-Fair Haven High Schools to start and implement mental health resources, and the Mental Health Association of Monmouth County.
The Ridge Road Run 5K continued during the global pandemic. Virtual races were held in both years. The Covid 19 global pandemic brought on an entirely new set of mental health challenges for students and many individuals in our community and around the world. An Ambassador program was formed at each high school. Students were able to stay connected through online meetings. Funds from the virtual races were used to offset the cost of launching an Ambassador program, as well as awareness activities including shirts for students and balloon arches.
Ambassadors are committed to ensuring that suicide prevention education and mental health/wellness initiatives are addressed, as well as raising general awareness of suicide and mental health in their schools and greater school community. Guest speaker Dennard Mitchell, author of Next Level Student Success: Practical ways to Achieve Success in School and in Life presented to select grade levels at all 3 schools. An evening presentation was held for the community, providing an opportunity for parents/guardians to learn how to support their students in developing practical, actionable tips that students can implement immediately to achieve success.
The RRR 5K returned to an in-person event at Red Bank Regional High School in May of 2022. During the 2022-23 school year the Ambassador program hosted mental health awareness nights, shared resources, gave out 988 bracelets and promoted the organization at events. Ambassadors have disseminated information in their schools, spoken to the public at sporting events, promoted suicide education and prevention with teal and purple (suicide prevention) or green and white ( mental health) balloon arches, launched kindness campaigns, hosted speakers and relayed valuable information through social media.
FROM RIDGE ROAD RUN TO RIDGE ROAD ALLIANCE
The Ridge Road Run was rebranded as the Ridge Road Alliance for Suicide Education and Prevention which encapsulates both the 5K and Ambassador programs. Ambassadors are pleased to present to you this awesome new logo and website!
Aqua and purple are the colors for suicide prevention. The anchor symbolizes hope, steadfastness, calm and composure. Definition of Anchor: a person or thing that provides strength and support. Call or Text 988, the National Crisis Line.