Following is an email that I received recently. I share it here with Annarose’s permission
I hope this email finds you well. I was mailed a copy of the Enterprise, the issue where your family’s story is on the front page, because I am in the process of starting a nonprofit organization which will be a support group for people who suffer from depression/thoughts of suicide or those who know someone who does. Over a span of 5 years, 7 of my friends attempted suicide, though thankfully none succeeded. I’ve suffered from depression/self-injury myself for the past six years (this is the first year I’ve been injury free!) and I decided that more focus needs to be put on looking at the positive things in life.
My Facebook page and under-construction website features positive quotes, photos, stories, videos, etc. and encourages people to take a second out of their day to find something – anything – to get them through today. I noticed that on your blog you have a “Share Your Story” link, I have one as well. I think that’s awesome. Honesty is key, but before we can be honest with others, we need to be honest with ourselves, which is where this link comes in. My goal is to create awareness and conversation across the globe so that depression isn’t kept a secret anymore – it’s shouldn’t be something to be embarrassed about. We should be celebrating life every single day, regardless of what is happening, and my goal in this organization is to give people something to celebrate if they can’t find something on their own.
I’m writing to you for a few reasons.
First: My organization is called You Jump, I Jump. Which, upon first read has given a few people the wrong impression, but the idea is that we’re in this together. I think that often we forget how much our own actions will affect someone else, and this name is to remind us that no matter what, we really are not alone. From the article, I learned that your son jumped from a building on campus, I was wondering if this name was offensive to you. Again, I truly hope that this email does not come across the wrong way, but I saw the article and felt a need to reach out.
Second: Do you still hold the Get Your Wellness On fair? I read about it and thought it was an incredible cause. I’d love to help with that in any way I can (either through You Jump, I Jump or just on a personal level).
And lastly, I just wanted to tell you how impressed I am. Your website and words are beautiful. I always say that we are stronger than we know, and from what I read, you and your family are proof of that. Thank you so much for sharing your story and for being such model for people to follow.