On December 18, 2002 my dad, Oscar Baeza committed suicide. This shock reverberated through my family and our friends. We couldn’t believe that we had just gotten blindsided by such an ordeal.
Today, we hear of others choosing the same path. From well-known celebrities to local middle school children, it is affecting our lives. These are loved ones who cannot find their way out of these depressed states. The important thing to know is that there are resources out there. There is a stigma out there about people with mental illness. While we may be ashamed to seek the help we need because of embarrassment and what society will think, it is necessary to get the treatments that can save lives. There are other people out there who have been down the same road– many more than anyone realizes.
We need your help! Please join us in our fight against mental illness, to raise awareness of mental health issues, and to provide education. This year, our first goals are the following:
1) Increase AWARENESS in DFW-area high schools. Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among youth ages 15-24. We hope to help teens recognize and understand the signs of depression (which may lead to suicide) and become more sensitive to the needs of fellow classmates. We also work to educate faculty and staff to do the same.
2) Increase AWARENESS and TREATMENT among college age students. An anonymous screen exists which improves the ability of college-based counselors to interact with students struggling with depression and thoughts of suicide. Implemention and maintenance come at a cost. We hope to help local colleges and univeristies implement such resources and to help them find sponsors to support the yearly program costs.
Our goal is to utilize a number of resources such as the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the National Alliance on Mental Illness and local entities to serve these audiences.
Thank you in advance for your support.