One of the many privileges of creating a campaign like No One Else Can Play Your Part is witnessing the many stories that come to surface. We’ve heard stories of people, of families, of friends, stories of hard times and good times, and stories of dreams of a better tomorrow.
Since our campaign launched, 254 people have helped us raise $28,000 to help those struggling with depression and thoughts of suicide. They have chosen to take action on behalf of those they love, those they have lost, and those who are still struggling. We’ve been so moved by the response to our campaign that we wanted to know more about why these individuals are working so hard to help us help others.
These are the stories they’ve shared.
I originally participated in TWLOHA’s National Suicide Prevention Week campaign because I felt like this was a way for me to give back to an organization that has done so much for me personally over the last 9 years. I began posting on multiple social media platforms and was receiving an extremely positive response. A day or so into the campaign, a friend of mine suggested that I share my story to make the campaign more personal. I struggled with the idea at first because very few people know my story; although I am open to sharing it with those close to me, the idea of posting it for everyone to read was nerve-racking. That night, I began jotting my story down until, before I knew it, it was 2:00 in the morning, and I had been nitpicking for hours. I decided to sleep on the idea of sharing my story. The next morning, I made some minor edits and posted it.
The response to my story was overwhelming; not only did donations start coming in, but other people began sharing their stories too. I never intended, nor did I believe, that my story would inspire others to be open about their struggles. Having open and honest conversation made my friends and family realize that we all struggle with different things in our lives, and we need to let our struggles be known so we can all be there for each other. People began donating in honor of those they had lost and in recognition of their own their struggles. They want to see others win, and they feel TWLOHA is a means to that victory.
I still struggle with depression on a weekly basis – I have some really good days and some really low days – but I have become more comfortable telling those around me how I feel, and I am working through those struggles with others rather than struggling all alone.
No one else can play my part because there is no other person in the world with my exact combination of compassion, determination, perseverance, and sarcasm.
I’ve known about TWLOHA since I was in high school. I first came across the organization’s website when I felt overwhelmed with the weight of worrying about how to properly care for a friend who was depressed and suicidal. About a year later, I saw the American Giving Awards on TV, and I remember watching as TWLOHA won the million-dollar prize. I was inspired by the passion and belief that the founder, Jamie Tworkowski, had in the organization’s ability to change people’s lives for the better, but it wasn’t until my freshman year of college that I began to understand there was a way I could do something to spread TWLOHA’s message to people who really need to hear it.
Now, as I’m about to begin my junior year at Boston College, I’m dedicated to helping spread TWLOHA’s message across college campuses – especially my own. I know how hard it can be to feel like you belong, how hard it can be to believe that the part you play in this journey called “life” is important. I’ve been there, and I’ve experienced that. But I’ve also witnessed the positive effects that hope and support can have on one’s life. I’m sharing this now because I know that you play a powerful part in this life, and I know that you can change the lives of others.
As National Suicide Prevention Week draws closer, I’m committed to helping TWLOHA raise the necessary funds for suicide prevention. I’ve seen the effects suicide has on those who suffer and those who have lost loved ones, and I want to make sure I do everything I can to prevent others from going through that pain. Suicide is preventable. Depression is treatable, and you can recover from it. I created a fundraising page for NSPW because I believe there is enormous power in sharing your story and asking others to learn about the cause you love. I want everyone to know that hope is real. I want everyone to believe in TWLOHA’s message that better days are ahead. I want to show everyone that people do need other people. I created this fundraising page because I believe that we can change the way depression and suicide are treated. All it takes is asking for help.
Help us challenge the stigma of mental health by providing support and treatment for those affected by it. From now until the end of National Suicide Prevention Week, every dollar raised through our NSPW 2014 StayClassy page will go directly to funding treatment and recovery. To start your own fundraising page, simply click “Become a Fundraiser.”