According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, there are 132 suicides per day on average.
That's why former St. Scholastica men's hockey coach Mark Wick will attempt to golf 132 holes on Tuesday, Sept. 29 at Bulrush Golf Club in Rush City for Suicide Prevention Awareness Month in September.
Wick is also raising money for the Face It Foundation in Minnesota, which helps men understand and overcome depression in hopes of reducing the rate of male suicide. The foundation provides men's support groups, one-on-one peer support, outreach events and public education, as well as training for mental health professionals.
Wick said since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization's donations are down 80%. The foundation's major fundraiser, the Alive at the Links golf outing, was also canceled, so Wick said he felt compelled to help an organization that has helped him.
September is Suicide Prevention Awareness month. I am doing an event September 29 to help raise awareness. I hope you will help me by spreading the word and think about helping this organization that is doing such great things. #sicknotweak #starttheconversation pic.twitter.com/adEnBjqdJm— Mark Wick (@coachwick23) September 21, 2020
"As a person that lives with anxiety and depression, I can tell you firsthand that this organization has had a tremendous effect on myself and hundreds of individuals," Wick wrote on Twitter. "Face It is saving lives."
Wick said he'll begin golfing at sunrise and continue until he has completed 7-plus rounds of golf at Bulrush, or until it is too dark to play. The course has a golf simulator, so he can complete the 132 holes there if need be, he said.
Wick, a Hermantown native, is the winningest coach in St. Scholastica men's hockey history having coached the Saints for 14 seasons from 2004-2018. Before that he was an assistant coach at Wisconsin-Superior and he's currently an assistant coach at Augsburg University, where his college coaching career began. Wick has also become an advocate for mental health after taking a leave of absence at the end of the 2014-15 season to seek help for his depression.
Donations to the Face It Foundation can be made at faceitfoundation.org/donate.
This article was updated at 10:55 a.m. on Sept. 23 to correct the name of Augsburg University. It was originally posted at 3:38 p.m. on Sept. 22.