Finding Hope


Suicide Shakedown and Ride Rally happens at High Desert Harley Davidson on Saturday

Posted at 12:32 PM, Jun 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-17 14:32:03-04

MERIDIAN, Idaho — The Ada County Coroner reports that in the past few years nearly 80 percent of the suicides in Ada County have been middle-aged males.

So the Ada County Coroner and One More Day, a military and veteran organization that works on suicide prevention has collaborated to create a motorcycle ride to try and make a difference.

"We started reviewing the different programs out there and actually I met David Conley of One More Day through Facebook," said Dotti Owens, the Ada County Coroner. "Our goal this weekend is to roll out man therapy which is a preventative mechanism for suicide for adult middle-age males."

Man therapy is a website geared towards helping this demographic who sometimes struggles to ask for help, the website features resources including a head inspection test, a crisis chat and videos designed for men.

"If you go to their website and you watch it they have the most pompous doctor you ever heard and basically he’s telling us we are stupid for not asking for help and that is the message we need to get out," said David Conley of One More Day. "Reaching out and asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength."

This Saturday from noon to 4:00 p.m. at the High Desert Harley Davidson there will be resources and a place for people to gather at this family-friendly event.

“if you are struggling we can get you help, if you know someone who is struggling we can put you in touch with the resources that can help," said Conley.

The day starts with registration from 8:45 - 9:45 a.m. at Whiskey River, kickstands up at ten for a ride that will end at the High Desert Harley Davidson in Meridian.

Conley said there will be a special national anthem after the bikers arrive and there will be police officers teaching people how to ride motorcycles during the event.

But these two want this event to be about bringing people together because the number of suicides has increased during the pandemic here in Ada County.

"After the first four months of the pandemic we saw a huge spike and what we think happened was the stresses of finances, not returning to work and kids not being in school," said Owens. "We’ve stayed steady since, we have not decreased those numbers at all."

They also believe that by partnering together they can come up with more accurate numbers, we have all heard that 22 veterans take their lives every day but that number is now three years old.