Women plan event for mental health awareness after two co-workers take their lives

The pandemic has had a devastating effect on people with mental health issues. Last year, two school employees from a Brandon school took their lives because of the isolation that COVID-19 caused.

To honor their lives, two peers decided to sponsor a run to shine a light on this problem.

"We're going to walk our route. Which I love because it's so scenic," said Jennifer Shiver.

She and Joycelyn Moore are preparing for a special event at Ellis-Methvin Park in Plant City. They're honoring two of their colleagues, Adam and Josiah.

"We're both not runners, but we decided we wanted to put on this 5K to honor them," said SHiver. "To remember them and also to bring awareness and attention to mental health issues."

Both committed suicide during the pandemic last year.

"We need to do something to kind of highlight their existence to make sure that their families know," said Moore. "That the families know that they were just important to us."  

The women worked alongside Adam and Josiah at Brandon Epic Alternative School.  

"We're such a small campus. Two major events like that to happen on our campus affects the whole campus," added Moore.

They said they lost touch with Adam and Josiah when the school shut down because of COVID-19.

"It's very tense sometimes. So being able to share information and give information and support each other is huge on our campus," explained Shiver.

Moore and Shiver say their goal is to shine the light on mental health issues.

"When we have issues and we have problems, we need to talk to someone. We need to reach out," Shiver said.

The event will be at Ellis-Methvin Park in Plant City on April 17.

For more information or to sign up for the event, visit https://myshape.solutions/epic-5k.