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Senator Hassan Recognizes Mike Mariani of Spofford and Devin McLaughlin of West Chesterfield as September’s Granite Staters of the Month

Marking the End of National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, Senator Hassan Recognizes Two Granite Staters Working to Promote Suicide Prevention

WASHINGTON – Marking the end of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan recognized Mike Mariani of Spofford and Devin McLaughlin of West Chesterfield as September’s Granite Staters of the Month for their efforts to raise money and awareness for suicide prevention following the loss of Mike’s brother to suicide in 2018.

 

As a tribute to his brother, who died by suicide in 2018, Mike and his best friend Devin launched Pedaling for Prevention, an initiative to raise awareness for suicide prevention by cycling across the country. Pedaling for Prevention also raises money for The Samaritans in Keene, which is a nonprofit that provides resources, including an anonymous crisis hotline, to help Granite Staters battling depression or thoughts of self-harm. This summer, the two began their cross-country bike ride to spread awareness about the importance of suicide prevention. On their journey, they are also sharing their story with people they meet along the way to further expand their reach.

 

Senator Hassan recently introduced the bipartisan Suicide Training and Awareness Nationally Delivered for Universal Prevention (STANDUP) Act, which passed a key committee and would help address rising youth suicide rates by encouraging schools to implement evidence-based policies and trainings to prevent suicides.

 

Senator Hassan launched the “Granite Stater of the Month” initiative in 2017 to recognize outstanding New Hampshire citizens who go above and beyond to help their neighbors and make their communities stronger. To nominate a New Hampshire citizen to be a “Granite Stater of the Month,” constituents can complete the nomination form here.

 

Click here or see below for Senator Hassan’s statement to the Congressional Record honoring Mike Mariani of Spofford and Devin McLaughlin of West Chesterfield as September’s Granite Stater of the Month.

 

Ms. HASSAN. Mr. President. I am proud to recognize Mike Mariani of Spofford and Devin McLaughlin of West Chesterfield as September’s Granite Staters of the Month. Mike and Devin are currently biking nearly 4,000 miles across the United States to raise money and awareness for suicide prevention efforts following the loss of Mike’s brother to suicide in 2018.

 

Three years ago, Mike lost his 16-year old older brother Nathan. Nathan was a junior at Keene High School at the time, and was known to friends and family for his sense of humor and love for the outdoors. 

 

In his memory, Mike and his best friend Devin launched Pedaling for Prevention, an initiative to raise awareness for suicide prevention by cycling across the country. Pedaling for Prevention also raises money for The Samaritans in Keene, which is a nonprofit that provides resources, including an anonymous crisis hotline, to help Granite Staters battling depression or thoughts of self-harm. 

 

This cross country bike ride was initially scheduled for last year, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced Mike and Devin to change their plans. Instead, the pair travelled across New England and held socially distanced meet-and-greets where folks could share their stories about losing loved ones to suicide and help reduce the stigma around mental health. On their return home, the duo received a warm welcome from their community, including a ride through town on the top of a fire truck, courtesy of the Chesterfield Fire Department. 

 

Mike and Devin started their long-awaited cross-country journey earlier this summer. The two are currently exhibiting an incredible show of endurance by pedaling 3,762 miles across the entire United States, and providing social media updates to spread awareness about the importance of suicide prevention. On their journey, they are also sharing their story with people they meet along the way to further expand their reach.

 

These two thoughtful, brave, and determined young people embody what it means to be a Granite Stater. After a heartbreaking loss that reverberated through an entire community, Mike and Devin decided to make a positive impact by spreading a message of resilience and hope, all the while educating others about suicide prevention and the importance of reaching out for help.

 

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