When two friends of mine in 2022 took their own lives, I was devastated and shocked. I had no idea that either person was hurting so badly. I was determined to be a positive change in the world, and start an often difficult conversation.
Rise and Shine Foundation is a nonprofit organization I created in April 2022 designed to eliminate the negative stigma around mental health issues and suicide. The story behind the name is very personal. Growing up, I had a wonderful stay at home mom. EVERY morning, she would open my bedroom door and sing "RISE AND SHINE" and that was the sunny start to my day! To this day, my mother and I have found the phrase to be a constant in our lives, often through memories to pictures to household decorations.
I named my podcast The Silent Suicide because that is exactly how people feel who are hurting. They are suffering in silence, and are fearful of the judgement from others. The more we talk about our struggles, the more normal they become. The more we talk about suicide, the less taboo it becomes.
I am on a life long mission to erase the stereotypes, help those who are suffering, and in return, I feel better equipped to handle my own mental health issues. We can change the dialogue and save lives together! Remember, BEING SPECIAL MAKES YOU DIFFERENT!