Rising to suicide awareness; a 7,000 mile bike tour

RISE bike route
RISE bike route

By: WAFB Intern Raven Dunlap

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Thomas Brown and Zachary Chipp felt the destructive impact caused by the suicide of a family member. This life-changing trauma created a bond between the two men, which has prompted their own call to service.

Their mission titled, (R.I.S.E.) Revolution Inspired by Self Evolution, was created to inspire the transformation in one's life by creative self-expression, through devoted self-reflection.

In order to raise suicide awareness and provide support and understanding to suicide survivors, they are touring more than 7,000 miles across the United States. During that tour, they are visiting 21 states and 110 cities to meet with Survivors of Suicide (S.O.S), other support groups, and art communities.

The journey began on March 1, 2012 at the San Francisco Golden Gate and is scheduled to arrive at The Chapel of Sacred Mirrors Art Museum in Wappengers Falls, NY on September 30, 2012. The tour stopped in Baton Rouge earlier this week and is currently in New Orleans.

"We are inspired by "The Bridge," a documentary about those who have committed suicide by jumping off San Francisco's famous landmark," said Thomas.

Brown and Chipp are using various forms of media, including blogging and in-depth video shorts, to connect more intimately with those who are participating and following this journey. This will also provide a collective view of suicide and the ripple effect it can create in one's life, family and community.

Chipp stated, "Our desire is to re-discover and film how art, creativity, and the human need to express can be a wonderful therapy when dealing with emotional or physical trauma."

The founders invite anyone interested to participate, volunteer, attend their speaking engagements or community meetings, follow the cyclists via their blogs or video diaries, or join the ride. They also encourage tax-deductible donations; R.I.S.E. has pledged 30 percent of all their monetary donations to EMPACT-suicide prevention center.

Please visit their website for further information: www.risephoenix.org.

If you think you are in crisis, please call The Baton Rouge Crisis and Intervention Center at (225) 924-3900 or toll-free at (800) 437-0303, or go to http://www.brcic.org/home.aspx for more information or to get on the Crisis Chat for immediate help.

Copyright 2012 WAFB. All rights reserved.