North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Tulalip Tribes' Unity Month begins with Color Run

 

October 11, 2017 | View PDF

Christopher Andersson

Families and kids run through colored powder during the 'Say Something' Color Run in Tulalip on Oct. 7, meant to kick off Unity Month in the community and raise awareness for mental health issues.

Tulalip Youth Services kicked off their Unity Month with a 'Say Something' Color Run meant to promote mental health on Oct. 7.

"Today is a color run for suicide prevention awareness," said Rachel Steeve, Tulalip Youth Services activity specialist.

Families ran through colored powder sections near the Totem Beach Road area where the run was taking place.

The 'Say Something' run was meant to encourage individuals to get help for themselves or someone they know if they think they are at risk of suicide.

"It's just about people speaking up, whether you're the person going through the hard time or know somebody who is," said Steeve. "Even the smallest warning sign needs to be heard."

The event is meant to be a positive environment where everyone in the Tulalip community could learn about mental health.

"The run is just to get everyone together in the community - the kids, the police department, the fire department," said Josh Fryberg, Tulalip Youth Services activities coordinator.

Awareness can be a difficult topic that some people don't want to talk about.

"It seems to be such a taboo, hushed topic that needs more awareness," said Steeve, who thinks many people support an event that can bring some attention to it.

"On a more personal level, a lot of people are friends or family with those who have committed suicide and they need that extra support because they're more passionate about getting the word out," said Steeve.

The event also marked the first week of the Tulalip Tribes' Unity Month, which was meant to address a number of topics related to mental health.

"We want to create unity and we want to create awareness," said Fryberg. "I want to encourage the teamwork and the unity within the community."

This is the second year that the Tulalip Tribes have raised awareness in October.

"October just seems to be a hard month for the community and we're trying to find a way to bring everyone together," said Steeve.

Tulalip Youth Services officials worked to get the month designated by the Tulalip Tribal Board last year and got it approved.

The second week focuses on domestic violence, the third week focuses on bullying and the fourth week is part of the national Red Ribbon Week, which is about drug abuse prevention.

Tulalip Youth Services officials also worked with the Marysville School District, who recognized the month and are helping to facilitate it in the classroom.

"They also adopted it to be a part of the schools in collaboration with us," said Steeve.

There are a variety of handouts and activities that the school district is helping with.

"Each Wednesday there is a movie that speaks out about the topic," said Steeve.

"We're taking all 6 through 12 graders to a haunted corn maze, but in order to attend they have to watch to a domestic violence movie," she said.

More information about Tulalip Youth Services is available at their website at http://www.tulalipyouthservices.com.

 

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