How I Connect and Advocate for Mental Health Care to Try to Survive the Suicide Loss of My Son

As I usually do, when our Marketing Director asks me if I’d like to write a post about International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, I said “Of course”. I lost my son, Austin, 18 months ago. Big confession, I have not attended an event for this day yet; but, I do connect and advocate for mental health care in order to try to survive.  

The team of incredible people that I have the privilege to work with at WebRTC Ventures and UniWellness Care are big supporters of me in my journey and they also remind me, that I am part of this team to be exactly who I am. The person who lives with, advocates for and is just immersed in so many facets of mental health care and suicide prevention. My role here is critical to my understanding and lived experience. Yet, sometimes I hold some of that back to stay professional.

I believe my commentary about this important day is still very relevant to our mission. Access to care any place, any time.

Our parent company, WebRTC Ventures could sit back and let people know that they can create a custom application for mental health care if you would like one, just like they create so many other amazing custom web applications.

However, I think of UniWellness much like the official events that were put on all over the Country by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention this past Saturday, everyone doesn’t have to come but it is absolutely needed by so many, that the events and our mental health application will be there, it will exist and happen because there is always someone who needs it.

What we can learn from the experiences of others is so valuable. That is why there are Survivor Day events all over the world on November 17th. Incredible people with the wisdom of experience know that a survivor needs other survivors.

Some need to see others living life with purpose.

Some need to share their stories because that is how they heal.

Some can feel so lost that they need to find some direction, even if just for a day.

Whatever the reason to attend, it is what we share in common that necessitates our need for conversation with other survivors. Once you are a part of this club, it feels as though you speak an entirely different language and you need someone to understand it.

Sometimes I feel as though I am standing on an island, very alone. And every day when I start work, I am reminded that my team is building a bridge to the many islands that exist in mental health care. There are youths and young adults that need to be reached, speaking what feels like a different language is hard. Talking about pain in your head is beyond hard. Just like the events of Survivor Day, that bridge to someone who understands needs to always be there, wherever a person with brain pain may be.

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