Go-kart event raises thousands of dollars for youth suicide prevention

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Law enforcement swapped their patrol cars for go-karts over the weekend, helping to raise thousands of dollars for a Colorado Springs non-profit.

Photo: Mayfield Counseling

The third annual "Race for Hope" event Saturday brought in nearly $20,000.

The Race for Hope is intended to be fun: Citizens are invited each year to pay a small donation for the chance to race Colorado Springs police officers and El Paso County deputies. It's held at Overdrive Raceway's Rockstar Track.

But the money raised goes towards a serious cause. Youth suicide is a growing problem in the U.S., and in Colorado, El Paso and Pueblo counties have some the highest rates in the state.

All proceeds earned Saturday were donated to Mayfield Counseling, which is a local non-profit with the goal of breaking the stigma of youth suicide. CEO of Mayfield Counseling Dr. Mark Mayfield told 11 News funds will go towards school outreach programs, free or discounted counseling for those otherwise unable to afford it, community-wide training at places such as schools and churches, and other related projects.

"I always hate getting to the suicide conversation because we should be talking about mental health long before we get to that situation. So that's part of the reason we do this. Have a conversation," Mayfield said.

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, there's always help available. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. The number can be reached 24/7.