It will be 5 years in June that we lost Michael. Sometimes it feels like yesterday … the phone call at work … police cars in our driveway … praying Michael was sitting in one of them.
Mental illness robbed Michael of his full potential; the pain he endured overwhelmed him and is something I will always struggle to wrap my mind around. One in four people suffer from some form of mental illness; and approximately 129 take their lives every day.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is at the forefront of research, education, and prevention initiatives designed to reduce loss of life from suicide. They work tirelessly to promote policies and legislation that impact suicide and prevention. With more than 40,000 lives lost each year in the U.S. and over one million worldwide, the importance of AFSP's mission has never been greater, nor our work more urgent. Which is why I walk: to bring awareness and raise much needed funding to continue the AFSP’s mission to lower the suicide rate by 20% by the year 2525.
I will be holding fundraising events this year. The first will be on April 14th at All Saints Church in Princeton NJ, at 4 pm. Make your calendars to come enjoy this late afternoon concert where local jazz pianist Phil Orr will delight us with his extraordinary talent! Please spread the word to friends, family and colleagues. A free-will donation will be collected at the event – and light refreshments will be served!
Please consider how you might be able to support my walk this year, as I strive to reach my goal of raising $4000. Many of you have been supporting me since Michael passed away; it is because of you that I have been able to work through my grief and turn this tragedy into a benefit for others. Together, we can change the conversation about suicide, erase the stigma and save a person who is suffering.