I learned that suicide more complex of an issue than many like to believe and it is not mutually exclusive to mental illness. I learned that suicide affects people from all walks of life; the poorest of the poor to the ultra wealthy and every socioeconomic class in between. Suicide isn't discriminatory about what color your skin is, what language you speak or what country you were born in. In the last five years I learned that suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people in the United States and the 10th leading cause of death overall for Americans.

While making my film there were a lot of times I almost quit. I almost gave up on the project because I had no support from the mental health community and no money. I wondered if I was wasting my time. Was it even worth it? Would anyone even care? Does anyone actually want to have this conversation about suicide? Can we bring it out into the open? Will the powers that be and gatekeepers even let that happen? All these things made me think of calling it quits. Why bother, the gatekeepers will just block me from getting any traction, I kept telling myself.

But every time I did an interview for the film or got a comment on one of the YouTube teaser clips or got an email from a stranger thanking me for making the film, how important it was to them that I was doing this and they couldn't wait to see it - that is what gave me the courage to push forward with it.

After releasing the film and hearing feedback from people after they watch it, I realize how important it really is. The response from real people, people who've lost someone they love to suicide, people who've attempted to end their own life, people who are just fans of Jared Padalecki and empathize with his struggle - the response is overwhelmingly powerful that even though I made this film with no budget, and with a lot of heart, soul, passion and compassion for my fellow human family, I know it's not perfect. I know it has flaws. I like to think even the snobbiest of movie snobs can overlook the small imperfections and get the powerful message.

We're all in this together, our struggles may be different, but we are one people, of one world and I know we'll never truly come together, but damn I wish we could. It's a dream. It's a fantasy. I know that. But my documentary? That's a reality. I did it. I completed it after 5 years and many nights of my own dark tears wondering if and how this film could or would even get finished let alone out to it's audience.... But I did it. Somehow I didn't have the courage to give up but making this film was far from easy and now getting it out to the people who need it with no representation to help me, is even harder. We need to do more than spread awareness. Everyone's aware suicide is a problem. Now we need to start the conversation!

#Suicide #SuicideIdeation  #MentalHealth  #Depression  #Anxiety  #Documentary  #JaredPadalecki  #alwayskeepfighting