AUGUSTA — Kennebec Behavioral Health has offered to sponsor 100 students in Crisis & Counseling Centers’ 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 is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 16, at the Kennebec River Rail Trail, starting near 31 Union St. in Augusta 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.

To register, visit 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,” said Amber Kruk, director of communications and development at Crisis & Counseling Centers, in the organization’s news release.

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.

In addition to Kennebec Behavioral Health, the Signs of Hope 5K is sponsored by HUB, One River CPAs, Kennebec Savings Bank, Proforma Marketing Essentials, Markham Tent Rentals, MaineGeneral Health, Brookewood Realty, Cre8iv Co., Kozak & Gayer, P.A., and Aroma Joe’s Coffee.

Business and organizations interested in supporting this year’s race should visit crisisandcounseling.org/raise-hope/sponsorship.

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