May is Mental Health Awareness Month

It's fitting to be talking about this since the end of May will mark the end of Mental Health Awareness month. But in reality, mental health awareness should not be relegated to just one month and should not be forgotten about after May 31.

If the last year-plus in this pandemic has taught us anything, it's that mental health can be fragile and there needs to be more discussion and awareness brought to it. And that's the purpose of Mike Mariani and Devin McLaughlin's planned 72-day, almost-3,700-mile ride across the country.

According to WMUR, Mike and Devin are setting off on their cross-country bike ride to raise awareness (and funds) in support of mental health, all in the name of MIke's brother, Nate. Unfortunately, back in 2018, Nate took his own life when he was just 16 years old (the same age that both Mike and Devin are right now). Mike told WMUR that it was a complete shock and there was absolutely no warning signs, it just came out of the blue.

Pedaling For Prevention and the NH Samaritans

As a result, Mike and Devin teamed to form Pedaling For Prevention, an initiative to bike across the country to raise suicide awareness (and, as a result, mental health awareness, too.) Through Pedaling For Prevention, they're raising funds for NH Samaritans, which describes itself as a "suicide prevention, intervention, and post-vention service agency dedicated to reducing the incidence and impact of suicide."

Mike and Devin actually planned on doing their cross country ride last summer, but with the pandemic in full force, they downsized their ride from cross country to biking 700 miles around New England instead, according to WMUR. Regardless of the lack of cross country biking from last year, Mike and Devin still managed to raise about $23,000 for NH Samaritans through their Pedaling For Prevention initiative.

Mike and Devin, according to WMUR, are planning on kicking off their cross-country ride next month. If you want more information on Mike and Devin's journey, want to donate, or want to check out their merch, head over to their Pedaling For Prevention website.

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