'Brake the Cycle' bikers for suicide awareness

Monday , June 22, 2015 - 9:12 AM

Standard-Examiner correspondent

LAYTON – Hundreds of supporters gathered to ride to “brake the cycle” of teen suicide in Utah.

Lori Christianson and Jaron Call set up the event, which took place Thursday, June 17, in memory of Kyle Harvey.

“Five months ago I got a phone call that changed my life,” Christianson said speaking of the call informing her that her son Kyle had taken his own life.

The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders equates the stress of losing a loved one to suicide with “that of a highly traumatic concentration camp experience. Christianson agreed with that assessment.

Christianson spoke at the event in memory of her son. “I think he fought for life every time he went out on his bike,” she said. “Kyle fought a good fight but the one thing he didn’t do was ask someone to help him.”

She acknowledge the support of Call in creating the event. Together they hope the event will make people more “comfortable getting the help they need.” Call, a lifetime friend of Harvey, eagerly devoted his time and efforts to the event.

Christianson concluded with a plea to everyone in attendance. “My plea to all is that if you need help please reach out. And if you think someone needs your help don’t hesitate to reach out,” she said. “Remember suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.”

Bees Christianson, a board member from the Utah Chapter of the America Foundation for Suicide Prevention shared the story of her own fight with suicide at the event. She explained that 95 percent of suicide victims are diagnosed with a treatable mental illness. “Our hope is to drop suicide rates 20 percent by 2020,” she said.

Fifty-six bikers signed up to ride the 27 mile course around Layton and Farmington. The riders included the American First Credit Union bike team who has close ties to the Harvey family.

The course started at Oak Forest Park behind Adams Elementary. Other activities included: face painting, sidewalk chalk, bike courses, an inflatable slide, and soccer.

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