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Wednesday, January 9, 2019

By Staff Reports

 

VAN NUYS—A 5-kilometer fun run to raise awareness and funds to ensure that all in need get the mental health support they seek was held Sunday in Woodley Park in Van Nuys.

Participants in the "5K for the Five Signs" included Talinda Bennington, the widow of Chester Bennington, the lead singer of the alt-rock band Linkin Park who committed suicide in 2017, and DJ Nash, the creator of the ABC drama "A Million Little Things."

Talinda Bennington is a co-founder of 320 Changes Direction, what she described as an effort "to streamline access to the help that is available" for those suffering with mental health concerns and "to change the culture of mental health so that those in need—and their family members—are able to speak openly about their struggles so that they can seek the care they deserve."

"A Million Little Things" is about a group of people from Boston who became friends after being in an elevator that became stuck and later have to deal with the suicide of "the one whose life is the most put together on paper," said Nash, who had a friend commit suicide.

The series' next original episode, which will air on Jan. 17, includes the group running in a 5K on behalf of suicide prevention.

The run benefits the Campaign to Change Direction, a global initiative focused on changing the culture of mental health, and Give an Hour, which provides free mental health care for active duty, National Guard and reserve service members, veterans and their families and other groups.

The run's title refers to the five signs of emotional suffering—personality changes; being uncharacteristically angry, anxious, agitated or moody; withdrawal or isolation from other people; neglecting self-care and engaging in risky behavior; and being overcome with hopelessness and overwhelmed by circumstances.