“You matter, I matter”: new suicide prevention campaign launching with a powerful message

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(WTRF) – You matter…I matter. 

Four words that send a powerful message. 

Two West Virginia women are using those words to start a new campaign as part of Suicide Prevention Month. 

Before you go any further, if you or someone you know is in crisis right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to 741741. Remember, there is help, there is hope and you matter.

What we do isn’t doom and gloom. It’s incredible to be able to prevent loss of life, especially in regards to a death of despair. 

Michelle Toman, Founder, youMATTERiMATTER

It starts with a message of positivity and hope. 

youMATTERiMATTER is about reminding everyone, even ourselves, that our place in the world is valuable. 

We have to be careful how we talk to ourselves, and we need to be able to have good relationship with ourselves as much as we strive to have relationships with other people, and that’s part of what youMATTERiMATTER campaign is gonna be.

Michelle Toman, Founder, youMATTERiMATTER

The new campaign launching at the end of the month will promote whole person wellness; including mental, physical and even spiritual health. It’s also focused on how each person can be a change maker in the world. 

Just that contagious effect of goodness and kindness and connectedness, that’s really what this campaign is about. 

Barri Faucett, Founder, youMATTERiMATTER

Michelle and Barri came up with the idea as they were traveling the state doing suicide prevention training.

As COVID-19 changed the way we all operate, their desire to create a safety net of support for those who need it grew.

People are looking for something to hold on to. We all need more and COVID just has made it worse. 

Michelle Toman, Founder, youMATTERiMATTER

The need hasn’t gone away, so we can’t stop and wait while everything’s on pause to resume what we’re doing.

Barri Faucett, Founder, youMATTERiMATTER

They’ve been handing out tiny cards with a big message.

Photo courtesy of youMATTERiMATTER

The hope is when someone receives one, they also pass one along, letting one more person know their life is valuable and they can make it through any struggle.

While the numbers of suicides across the country are frequently reported, Barri and Michelle say the lives saved aren’t always counted or celebrated, but they know they’re out there. 

We really can’t measure the ripple effect of what those are. So, just something as simple as distribution of that card or allowing people to know that you matter, in addition to the trainings and the more intensive things that we do, we have no idea how many individuals that can save, but we know it has a ripple effect to it.

Barri Faucett, Founder, youMATTERiMATTER

A ripple they want to grow larger, spreading their message of hope. 

While September marks 30 days of suicide awareness, they hope the message spreads across the Mountain State and the nation all 365 days of the year. 

The youMATTERiMATTER website officially launches on September 30, so be sure to stay with 7News for updates on the movement’s progress.

If you or someone you know is struggling, there are plenty of people and places willing to help. Visit the following Facebook pages and websites for information.

World Health Organization

SAMSHA

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and its West Virginia Chapter

The National Alliance on Mental Illness or NAMI Greater Wheeling

Prevent Suicide WV

Brother UP

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