SOURCE: Dreams Shared Publications

October 26, 2005 06:00 ET

Catching the Attention of Hard-to-Reach Men and Women About Treatability of Depression and Suicide Prevention Is New Book's Goal

CINCINNATI, OH -- (MARKET WIRE) -- October 26, 2005 -- Jeff Alt's award-winning new book, "A Hike For Mike," is full of hair-raising real-life adventure including run-ins with bears, lightening bolts, fresh mountain lion tracks, and other hikers. Along the way, Alt shares inspiring and humorous stories of what follows after he convinces his wife--a woman raised with the domesticated idea that a vacation includes hot showers and warm beds--to chuck all that and hike with him for 218 miles through the California Sierra Mountains. The hike took the better part of a month and was meant to help them cope with the death of her brother. But "A Hike For Mike" does more than entertain. The book skillfully educates the reader about depression through a real life story in hopes of reaching a segment of society that seems to run, duck, and hide whenever mental illness is broached. Since men make up the bulk of those who die by suicide while woman dominate the ranks of those with depression, reaching them is essential.

Jeff is available for interviews or to help you create a feature story.

Some statistics on depression and suicide (National Institute of Mental Health):

--  31,000 Americans die annually by suicide and 25,000 of them are men.
--  Suicide is the third leading cause of death in young men.
--  A staggering 19 million Americans suffer from depression, 15 million
    are woman.
--  Untreated depression is directly linked to suicide.
--  Depression can be effectively treated.
--  Men are less inclined than woman to seek medical help for symptoms of
    depression.
    
Depression and suicide are becoming a major health crisis. There are scores of mental health organizations focusing on this issue. But, the majority of main stream society is still unaware of the symptoms and where to turn for help.

"A Hike For Mike" is a travel essay that appeals to the main stream in a similar manner that Bill Bryson's "A Walk in the Woods" did in the late 90s. This is precisely why the book is so approachable. "A Hike For Mike":

--  takes away the stigma some might feel buying a book about depression
--  entertains and appeals to those who tend to avoid medically sterile
    self-help books
--  tells an adventurous and humorous story of a couple who live in the
    woods for weeks on end experiencing bears, lightening, the effects of thin
    air, having to catch fish for dinner, rationing of toilet paper forcing
    Beth to barter with another hiker for TP...etc.
--  demonstrates a positive way of handling adversity
--  makes a quick read, which appeals to the stereotypical male
--  includes a "Facts About Depression" chapter.
--  makes a great gift for any armchair traveler, hard to reach family
    member, or a friend who may be suffering from depression, or anyone
    interested in hiking
    
"A Hike For Mike": An Uplifting Adventure Across the Sierra Nevada for Depression Awareness (ISBN: 0967948215; Dreams Shared Pub.; Sept. 05) by Jeff Alt is an award-winning finalist in the USA Book News "Best Books 2005" awards http://www.awalkforsunshine.com/AHikeForMikemedia.htm

Jeff Alt was a keynote speaker at the Suicide Prevention Action Network USA's (SPANUSA.org) annual convention in Washington. D.C. on September 10, 2005 (World Suicide Prevention Day), where he and Beth kicked off the day with "A Hike to the Hill." Alt's first book was the award-winning "A Walk For Sunshine: A 2,160-mile expedition for charity on the Appalachian Trail." He has been a hiking commentator for ESPN. His adventures have been widely featured in media across the country including dozens of television and radio programs. He is a popular speaker for a wide variety of organizations. More about Jeff at http://www.hikeformike.com and http://www.awalkforsunshine.com/jeffaltmedia.htm.

"...His descriptions capture the magnificence of the varying vistas...Indeed, Alt's conversational writing style makes one feel like a participant rather than an observer..." --Library Journal

"...Jeff and Beth found a new way to raise awareness...of depression and suicide...serves as a message of hope and inspiration for those suffering with depression as well as their families and friends...Jeff and Beth's story brings clarity, precision, and attention to a topic that deserves all our attention..." --Jerry Reed, Executive Director, Suicide Prevention Action Network USA

"...Even without a cause [they] have come up with a good book..." --Jim Morris, Outdoors, Dayton Daily News

Contact Information

  • For interviews and review copies contact:
    Kate Bandos
    800-304-3269
    Email Contact
    Fax: 616-676-0759