BURLEY, Idaho — As fall and winter approaches, it tends to be the time of year when people suffering from certain mental health conditions experience seasonal depression. It is partly due to the increased amount of time indoors and inclement weather, leading to an increased feeling of seclusion for people.
According to recent numbers from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, in 2017, there were 393 suicides in the state, and in the five years leading up to 2017, 110 children ages 6-18 died by suicide.
To help combat this, the "Ninja Warrior Fit Event" will promote health and wellness and raise suicide awareness throughout the community on October 24th at Burley skate park.
Owner of the Ninja Sanctuary in Burley, Terry Lamb, has teamed up with Mini-Cassia PAuSe to assist in organizing the event. While the event is open to anyone, there is a heavy focus on the local youth.
"We want to get them involved. There is going to be like boxing mitts, mitt work, different ways to release stress and anger, anxiety," said Terry. "There will be counselors to talk to. Really it's a win-win for everybody."
Terry himself had a tough childhood, attending nearly twenty elementary schools and suffering a near-fatal car accident in his late teens, leading to PTSD and depression. He has found solace in working with kids and takes pride in attempting to help teach them about life's obstacles through fitness.
"I've been through a lot of different things, and I just found that I'm easily able to connect with kids and teach them and show them things that are out of their comfort zone that can make them reach their potential. They can absolutely become 110% of what they thought they were capable of," said Terry.
Along with the counselors at the event, there will be live music and activities for kids and adults. "I'm going to set up a kids or adult ninja course. You'll be able to be American Ninja Warrior for the day. We're going to have some ax throwing some bean bag tossing. It will be free of charge, but there will be local vendors and food trucks there," said Terry.
For the event, COVID-19 protocols will be heavily encouraged, like social distancing and hand hygiene. Masks will also be encouraged but not required. The event is also a way to help support local businesses struggling businesses within Burley.
"Let's face it this year has been hard on everybody, so if we can give back to the community while raising awareness about suicide, everybody is winning," said Terry.
As the date approaches, Terry expressed his excitement and the importance of providing something like this for kids and teenagers going through tough times.
"I think this is huge. I wish everybody in their community would assemble and do something like this. You know, a couple weekends out of the month just to let the kids and everyone know like, "Hey, it's not over." Just get outside, get some sunlight, get some vitamin D, have some fun."