In observance of Suicide Prevention Month in September, the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs Suicide Prevention Team and Richland Community College present the First Annual Operation Obstacle: The Race to End Veteran Suicide. This timed, two-mile obstacle course will be held on Richland’s campus on September 25, 2021, beginning at 10am at the Workforce Development Institute.
“VA Illiana’s Suicide Prevention Team’s collaboration with Richland Community College brings community awareness to the 17 Veterans who are dying each day by suicide and gives opportunity for our Suicide Prevention Team to make connections with the community, Service Members, Veterans, and their families. The VA can’t do it alone. We need our community partners like Richland Community College to help us care for our Veterans and to intervene when someone is in distress,” according to Hannah Jordan, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Suicide Prevention Case Manager for VA Illiana.
The event is open to the public with Richland students and employees taking part in the race and participating as volunteers. Fun physical obstacles, musical entertainment, and snacks/water will be available for race finishers. In addition, participants are invited to compete in team events including Tug of War and a Humvee Pull. There will be a brief opening Veteran ceremony with the presentation of the flag, national anthem and brief speech from the Suicide Prevention Team.
More information can be found at www.richland.edu/OperationObstacle, including registration links. Trophies will be presented to the top three male and female finishers. The first 73 participants get a US Flag bandana, and all participants get a finisher’s challenge coin, giveaway bag with a fan, cooling towel and water bottle. Proceeds will support Richland Community College’s Student Veteran’s Resource Center to help student Veterans and Servicemembers overcome financial obstacles to education.
The Richland Veteran’s Student Resource Center was opened in 2019 and serves as a comfortable space for Veteran students to study, relax, communicate, and collaborate.