Patrick Diederich is currently cycling alone across the US for the suicide prevention charity American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. His journey will take him 4,000-plus miles from New York to California. Diederich is already over 1,900 miles in and is wearing a t-shirt encouraging passers-by to honk their horns. He says, “There’s a sign on my back saying, “Fight suicide, Honk 4 Hope.”
But Diederich is not in this completely alone; he’s invited us all along for the ride. His journey is being live-streamed via Reddit and Facebook, so dial in and send him a “honk” and give support online. “I’m not stopping, I’m not stopping, I’m peddling, I’m hitting the pavement,” Diederich proclaimed to his supporters via the stream. Currently, he is riding through Florida and you can also follow his route via Ride with GPS.
After having friends and family be affected by mental health issues and having been laid off from work this year, he decided to hit the road for a charity that is so vital to us all but so underfunded: the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The project Honk4Hope’s page opens with the following facts, “Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US. In 2018, 48,344 Americans died by suicide. In 2018, there were an estimated 1.4m suicide attempts.”
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention provides round the clock support through its crisis line. It offers ongoing support to anyone suffering from mental illness and supports those who are worried about someone or who have lost a loved one. It also offers resources on treatment and support groups and has a bucketload of educational tools.
In addition to raising awareness for the cause, Diederich has also set a target of raising $10,000 for the charity. At the time of writing, Diederich’s already fundraised over $7,600. If you want to support him by purchasing him a hot meal during his journey you can do so by sending money to his Venmo @Pat-Diederich. Diederich is mainly camping, but if you have a warm bed and would like to open up your home, send him an email to Honk4Hope@gmail.com. And don’t forget, if you are on his route, get on your horn and give him a massive honk of support.
Editor’s note: If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (en Español: 1-888-628-9454; deaf and hard of hearing: 1-800-799-4889) or the Crisis Text Line by texting 741741.