Today, I want to share something that has been on my heart...
For the past several years, I have been involved with young people. Many are from good, strong homes; many are not. Many have healthy views of themselves; many do not. Many feel secure in their world; many do not. Every one...EVERY SINGLE ONE... of them has been touched by abuse, be it alcohol, drugs, physical, mental...and by depression...you know the list. Even the strongest of these young people have moments of doubt that they do not fit in anywhere...they are scared, lonely, depressed, ripped apart. They cry out for help. But we don't always hear...
*According to the National Institute for Mental Health, more than 18 million people in the US suffer from depression.
*Depression often co-occurs with anxiety disorders and substance abuse, with 30 percent of teens with depression also developing a substance abuse problem. (NIMH)
*Untreated depression is the number one cause of suicide, and suicide is the third leading cause of death among teenagers. (NIMH)
*2 out of 3 people suffering from depression do not seek help!
The above statements are found on the website of To Write Love On Her Arms, "a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depressions, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery." (their mission statement)
This "LOVE" movement is circling the globe. Letters, emails, and financial support show its hope is resonating with young people all over the world. (There are some incredible notes on the website.) TWLOHA has a presence at rock concerts and other events throughout the US and beyond. (See the Calendar on their website. ) It's definitely a charity...a support system... with which we should be familiar.
Truthfully, I had never heard of TWLOHA until my son, Music Guy, came home with a shirt sporting these letters. Of course, I asked what they meant...and the story unfolded. In fact, the story was written on the shirt for all to see (read). Today, he works with this organization, handling a lot of their IT work...and he keeps me informed of their happenings. In my email this morning, MG sent me a link to an event TWLOHA sponsored with Hurley (surf company) in Virginia. The link for this event is below, as is the story, written by Jamie (the founder). It is moving...bringing tears to my eyes. I highly recommend reading it... a mother's love.
(This story is also on the TWLOHA website...Flowers to the Sea.)
Please take a few minutes to check out the TWLOHA website...to read their vision and the story that started it all...
"Hope is real. Help is real. Your story is important."