First-time Thumbs Up 5K to bring light to dark topic of depression and suicide

Published August 16, 2014 at 2:25 pm

• Organizer has lost friends, family to the disease but knows there is help out there

by Jim Boyle

Katie Shatusky has had friends and relatives lose their  battles with depression by completing suicide. She herself has even has battled depression, but with counseling and exercise she has beat the disease off her back for a long stretch of time. The Elk River woman, 32, wants others to do the same. Thumbs Up High 5K will be on Oct. 4 in downtown Elk River. To help, she is organizing the first Thumbs Up 5K to raise money and awareness to about mental health concerns in the community and encourage more people to seek help and hopefully prevent tragic cases of suicides from happening.

The run and event will be on Saturday, Oct. 4, in downtown Elk River. It is being hosted by McCoy’s Irish Pub, and Rivers Edge Commons Park will be utilized on the day of the event, too. The event is a 5K Run, Walk, Blade and Bike event. It will begin at 10 a.m.

“I really want to promote health and wellness,” Shatusky said.

Proceeds from the walk will go to the Elk River High School Yellow Ribbon suicide prevention group. Joe Schmit, a sportscaster for Channel 5 News and the author of “Silent Impact,” will speak. There will also be a 1K Fun Run for kids 12 and under and kids activities. There will also be chiropractors, free massage and yoga on hand at the event as well as representatives from mental health wellness centers and clinics from the Elk River, Rogers, Zimmerman and Otsego areas.

“I am anticipating there will be lots of thumbs up and high fives on the day of the event,” Shatusky said

The cost of the event is $25 for adults 19 and up, $10 for teens 18 and under and $5 for kids 12 and under. Individuals interested in registering can do so at and then search for Thumbs UP High 5K.