A Candid Look at Suicidal Pain and Prevention
Most people would agree that, if we are really lucky, we’ll each get one LiFE-altering chance to make a significant difference in the world around us and the lives of others. For me, on January 24, 2001, I was given a second chance at LiFE, but struggled for more than a decade to understand, “Why?” Thirteen years later (2014), a series of events led me to reevaluate my LiFE’s purpose. More importantly, it put me on a path to give others like me, the second chance, they too, desperately need.
It has been my experience that there are few things in this world more rewarding than being in service to others. It is my LiFE-journey and this belief that drove me to redirect my time, talent, and resources to the exploration of anything relating to suicide and the prevention of ideation, attempt, and loss. Three significant gaps, within the traditional model for treating individuals affected by the topic of suicide, emerged. Through the development and implementation of a series of peer-facilitated programs, these gaps were not only acknowledged, they were addressed head on. The outcomes speak for themselves. Participants taking part in the NEXT STEP Resources and other related programs, reported significant psychological improvement, especially when coupled with psychiatric care. Shortening the learning curve toward restoring a desire for LiFE through knowledge, connection, and emPOWERment, produced a zero suicide record over a five year period.
I choose to believe each of us is worthy of every second chance we are given. If this is truly the case, then I feel my LiFE has been a sequence of events all leading me toward a LiFE OF HOPE. Today, I am honored to serve as a suicide prevention and mental health advocate and public speaker. This is my truth. My passion. My legacy.
What is your truth and what has been the hardest part of discovering it for you? What is your passion and how do you connect with and share it?What do you hope to leave as your legacy?
Who (I strive to reach): one community, one family, one life at a time
Where (geographic area): communities who are vested in LiFE
What (the mission): reduce the number of suicide attempts thereby leading to a natural reduction in the lives lost to suicide
How (hope in action): raise a healthy awareness of risk factors, behaviors, and intervention options associated with suicide, void of judgment or shame, through a message of hope and healing
Why (it matters): SUICIDE IS PREVENTABLE
Change the landscape of suicide prevention through peer-based, gap-filling awareness, education, and support solutions