Suicide Awareness

       I’m sorry for the long post. If you take the time to read this in its entirety, thank you. 
     May is Mental Health Awareness Month which has become something close to my heart.  I’m happy to announce that I am running the New York City Marathon in November for suicide and mental health awareness.  Anyone who knows me knows running is not my thing. It’s easy to say you did cardio but I am going to push myself to a new level mentally and physically for a good cause and to show my daughter that you can do anything if you work hard and push yourself. 
      If you do know me, you also know that my family and friends mean everything to me. I pride myself in always being there for those I love so two years ago when I found out my little sister attempted suicide, it broke my heart to know how much she was suffering and I blamed myself for not knowing sooner. 
    Everyday Devon puts a smile on her face and I talk to her constantly on the phone or through text and she always seems like she is doing okay. I think this is what scared me the most is because I thought I knew but in reality I had no clue.  The mind is a tricky thing and only you truly know what is going on inside your head. It is up to you to express and reach out for help.  
  I will never know the demons that many people, including my sister, deal with on a daily basis and I won’t sit here and try to pretend that I do.  Our goal by sharing our story is to start a conversation and raise awareness. Every person and families have their battles and it is okay to admit you are not okay. 
We hope to raise money for the AFSP so there are always resources open to go to if you or a loved one is suffering from suicidal thoughts or mental health disease.
Most of all, Devon and I are here for anyone that needs to talk. If you are depressed, need a friend or want to hear more about how we as a family have dealt with suicide, we are here. If you are reading this and you don’t know me, get to know me. I’m here for you.

I almost lost my best friend and my family would have never been the same. I thank God everyday I get to talk to my sister and that my daughter has a chance to get to know, love and admire her aunt, like I do.  Please to those struggling with suicidal thoughts or mental illness you will not be judged here. I will run this marathon and challenge myself in honor of your daily fight and challenges. I want to help those struggling with suicidal thoughts. 
         If you can’t donate there are other ways to help. Be kind to everyone. Communicate with loved ones, compliment your friends and strangers because you never know who is having a bad day.  Be a friend by listening and making yourself available. We all have friends and family that are affected by this on a daily basis that could use someone to talk to. If we start a conversation and break down the stigma surrounding mental health, then this campaign and marathon will be a huge success but we need your help! 

Below is something my sister wrote on her suicide. It is raw and real but it is her story.  
To Read My Sister's Perspective Click Here
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Matt Thomas 
New York, NY
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.
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