AUGUSTA – Kennebec Behavioral Health has generously offered to sponsor 100 students in Crisis & Counseling Center’s annual Signs of Hope 5K Walk/Run to help raise support, break down stigma, and raise awareness about the need for behavioral health support across Maine.

The event takes place at the Kennebec River Rail Trail (starting near 31 Union Street in Augusta) on Oct. 16 starting at 8:30 a.m. for runners, 10 a.m. for runners/walkers, and at noon for walkers. Virtual participation is also possible anytime leading up to Oct. 16. Students who enjoy running or walking are encouraged to sign up for the 5K and help increase access to life-saving behavioral health treatment and support.

Virtual participation options are also available to those who are unable to attend in person. Students and all other participants will receive a shirt and finisher medal along with chances to win prizes if they are interested in fundraising to support Crisis & Counseling Centers’ goal to make mental health and substance use disorder care accessible to all.

Link to register: https://runsignup.com/Race/ME/Augusta/SignsofHope5KWalkRun

Students’ parents/guardians should use the coupon code “KBH” to have registration fees waived.

“We strive to never turn anyone away who has made the brave decision to reach out for mental health and substance use disorder treatment and support, but we know that everyone who walks through our doors may not have the means to afford the care they need,” shares Amber Kruk, director of communications & development at Crisis & Counseling Centers. “The Signs of Hope 5K is one way that our agency with the support of our community and sponsors like Kennebec Behavioral Health that we ensure that all clients get the care they need, when they need it most by raising hope and support.”

The team at Kennebec Behavioral Health who are dedicated to promoting the well-being of persons who experience mental illness, emotional difficulties or behavioral challenges know that exercise can make a huge positive impact on mental wellness, as well as lead to better self-esteem and resilience. This 5K is a chance for students to improve their mental wellness and help make mental health care more accessible for members of our Maine communities. 

Crisis & Counseling Centers treats and supports the emotional wellbeing of Maine communities by preventing suicide, combating addiction, and teaching individuals the skills they need to lead healthier, happier lives. The goal is to raise $15,000 to support these life-saving and life-changing services. Since the campaign launched, supporters have helped raise 27% of that goal. With the support of the community, racers, fundraisers, and event sponsors Crisis & Counseling Centers is hopeful that they will meet their goal.

In addition to Kennebec Behavioral Health, the Signs of Hope 5K is sponsored by HUBOne River CPAsKennebec Savings BankProforma Marketing EssentialsMarkham Tent RentalsMaine General HealthBrookewood RealtyCre8iv Co.Kozak & Gayer, P.A., and Aroma Joe’s Coffee. Business and organizations interested in supporting this year’s race should visit, www.crisisandcounseling.org/raise-hope/sponsorship

Crisis & Counseling Centers is a 50-year-old multi-service mental health and substance abuse agency headquartered in Augusta, Maine, that provides a comprehensive treatment continuum which includes: Crisis Mobile Resolution and Crisis Stabilization Unit services; mental health, substance use disorder and co-occurring disorders treatment; statewide parent/caregiver support through its G.E.A.R. Parent Network program; Children’s Targeted Case Management; PATH Case Management services; Parents Case Management for pregnant women or parents struggling with substance use disorder; correctional behavioral health care services; medication management; and OPTIONS, a substance use harm reduction program. More information is available online at CrisisAndCounseling.org 

If you’re thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, the Maine Crisis Line is available 24/7 by calling (888) 568-1112.