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October 2018

Suicide wasn’t on my radar of concern, until it was

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Suicide wasn’t on my radar of concern, until it was—WHAP! Like a jab or uppercut that I didn’t see coming because I wasn’t even fighting. That’s how it felt that day the phone rang and I learned my young adult cousin died by suicide—the wound immediate and riddled with unanswered questions, confusion, and feelings of guilt. What could I have done? How could I help my family? What did I miss?

Turns out, I unknowingly missed a lot. My 38 years on this planet earth was devoid of educating myself about suicide. I didn’t know the suicide warning signs and wasn’t aware of the stifling stigma that prevents many people from seeking help. Was this stigma the reason why suicide and mental health discussions weren’t woven into conversations throughout my life?

I mean, it didn’t come up—not once.

That’s where my life trajectory changed. I reached out to the Jordan Porco Foundation to ask for guidance and noticed that they had a job posting for a Communications Manager. I knew I could do better with my level of engagement in taking action to prevent suicide: a passion within me ignited. I applied, was hired, and from that day forward have devoted my time to the Jordan Porco Foundation’s mission of preventing suicide, promoting mental health, and creating a message of hope for young adults.

So here is your morsel, since I know today’s pace of life leaves little time for a sit-down dinner, take time to familiarize yourself with this topic. Acknowledge that we can individually and collectively do better in starting conversations, keeping them going, and in understanding the scope of the major public health concern of suicide, and how to take action to prevent suicide.

Here is how you can help prevent suicide, adapted from the Jordan Porco Foundation’s Nine out of Ten program:

Be Aware

  • Understand the prevalence of college student suicide
  • Learn about the warning signs of suicide and the resources that can help
  • Look out for others and pay attention to signs that someone may be struggling

Speak Up

  • Use your voice to raise awareness about suicide and suicide prevention
  • Challenge stigma, pay attention to how you talk about mental health and suicide, and educate others when you hear inappropriate jokes or problematic language
  • Talk about why suicide prevention is important to you

Reach Out

  • Express your concern when you are worried about someone and let them know you care
  • Connect others to professionals who can help
  • Ask for help for yourself when you need it

Help Someone

  • Use what you have learned to help someone in need

If you need support now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or, text “HOME” to 741741 to get help 24/7 from the Crisis Text Line. 

If you or someone you know needs help, visit the Jordan Porco Foundation’s resources page.

Friendships Going The Distance


Friendships. They are a true gift, priceless to our physical and mental well-being. My friendships have morphed through the years as I grew into myself – some were toxic and drama-filled, some inexplicably dissipated, some re-kindled. But, it is those friendships that are going the distance that I want to acknowledge.

These are the friendships that are not questioned, kindred spirits whose hearts have connected deeply, and it’s a connection that cannot be broken. Think about those friendships that are going the distance in your life. Who are they?

For me, they are the people who I haven’t talked to in days, months, even years, where I know when we do reconnect, we can pick-up like we haven’t missed a day. There is never any fear or doubt that I’ve lost their friendship, and those are the friendships that are going the distance in my life, for which I am grateful beyond what my words can even express.

I hope you have a friend like this in your life. Because, let’s face it, adulting is not easy. Adulting can be lonely and isolating. The more we add to our schedules – working, children, school – the greater the distance between us and our friends, limiting our time to connect with each other in a meaningful, replenishing way.

I’ve noticed it is becoming increasingly difficult to connect with my cherished friends, to the extent I would like to, because the pace of life is – quite frankly – more of a sprint as my kids get older. It’s hard to keep-up. But, there is hope, and it is found in the very thing I am writing about – friendships that are going the distance. Reach out to one of yours today, you’ll feel better.



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