The face of mental illness is deceiving. Just like any disease, mental illness knows no discrimination of age, race or religion. It does not matter where you went to school, how many friends or family you have that love you, it does not matter what kind of job or responsibilities you have. Depression and anxiety can look like a charming, silly, well dressed young man, with deep dimples in his smile and a love for animals, chess, poker and movies. It can also look dark, lonely, confusing and painful. Mental Illness has many different faces and shows up uniquely with each individual. The stigma our society has placed on mental illness has, even more so, debilitated the lives of loved ones dealing with a mental illness. We need to raise the awareness, and stop the stigma. Literally, lives depend on it. We need to support and encourage our mental health community more than ever.
Luke was not alone in his fight, although his illness may have made him feel that way. The Luke J. Raymond Foundation will honor Luke’s courage and honor the millions that are affected by mental illness and suicide. In honor of Luke and his legacy and the life that he lived, our family will be starting the Luke J. Raymond Foundation to raise awareness for mental illness and the obstacles one can face and the resources that are available to help. 100% of the donations will be going to resources for mental health and mental illness awareness, suicide prevention and mental health care. One in five people suffer from a mental illness and suicide is the country’s 10th leading cause of death.
One way we would like to honor Luke’s legacy is by working in partnership with the On Our Own of Charlottesville organization. Luke was an active member of the On Our Own community. This organization provides mental health support by promoting self reliance and helping others through the process of recovery. On Our Own of Charlottesville is a peer-run community center that Luke was drawn to and found major support from and he contributed a beautiful, supporting energy to his friends and members of On Our Own. This organization actively advocates for positive change within the traditional mental health system.
We would like to begin our work with The Luke J. Raymond Foundation by supporting this inspiring and essential organization. We are so grateful for your donation, big or small, to help do our part in honoring Luke’s story, his courageous fight and helping the countless others that are affected by mental illness and suicide. Help us be the change.
- Mekenna Melvin
- Deanna Raymond
- Allison Sellman
- Dale Maupin
- Whitney Tarver
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