OYM Brandy Vega | Suicide

 

According to the World Health Organization, more than 700,000 people die due to suicide every year. It is the fourth leading cause of death among people from 15-29 years old. In this episode, Brandy Vega, the Founder/President of Good Deed Revolution, aims to reach many people to stop the stigma around suicide and spread awareness. There are resources everyone can reach, like Promise2Live.org, to save lives, or you can dial 9-8-8 to speak to a crisis responder. 9-8-8 is a free service to help individuals facing mental health issues. Brandy emphasizes the importance of the Promise2Live Campaign in stopping the stigma and creating a safe place to save lives. Tune in to this episode and help spread awareness with Brandy Vega.

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Brandy Vega With Promise2Live.Org Opening Up The Conversation Around Suicide

Brandy Vega is the Founder and President of Good Deed Revolution. Also, CEO of Vega Media Studios. Brandy is on a mission to save lives and help others after nearly losing her daughter to suicide in 2021. During this difficult time, she pled for help on social media and her video went viral. Shortly after that, KSLTV asked her to share her story on the news. In the interview, she told parents to stop what they’re doing, go check on their kids, and ask them point-blank if they are suicidal.

Brandy, thank you so much for joining us. It’s great to make the connection.

A pleasure to be here.

I was hoping you could start us off by telling us a little bit about how you got into the work you do and what drives your passion for it.

I joined a club that nobody wants to be a member of. I almost lost my teenage daughter to suicide. The first time she attempted to end her life was at 12, and then she did it again at 14 after a promise it would not happen. The first time, we didn’t talk about it. The second time, I was like, “We can’t do the same thing and expect a different result just dealing with stigma and things.” When it happened the second time, we weren’t entirely sure if she was going to survive or not. I ended up doing a post on social media asking for help because I didn’t know where to find it, who to trust, and what to do.

When I did it on my personal Facebook page, it went viral and got 12,000 views overnight. I had hundreds of messages, and it started us down this path of figuring out how to deal with mental health, suicide prevention, how to stop the stigma, and start conversations. My background is in broadcasting and media. I was in the Army as a broadcast journalist in public affairs. I worked in TV news for many moons. Some of my friends on my personal page saw the message that worked at NBC. They reached out and asked if I would share, to which I gladly said, “You’re crazy. You’re out of your mind. No way. Not going to talk about it.” I don’t want to be vulnerable who wants to be the voice of that and share these painful personal experiences, so I told them no.

At the same time, I was praying to God to save my daughter. I got the impression that this was my second chance or wouldn’t be a third, what would I do? Shortly after, my daughter ended up coming out of it and was going to be okay. I started trying to figure out what that meant and what I needed to do. I own a video production and media company called Vega Media Studios in Salt Lake and I have a nonprofit. I invited all of the suicide prevention mental health groups, and I said, “I’ll do your media for free and help with whatever you need.”

Shortly after, this sets up the backstory. I know it’s a little bit longer, but shortly after we met, I found that resources were scattered and it was hard to find information, so I started building that out. Two weeks after my friends at NBC called, they called me again and said, “Would you be willing to share your story?” I thought, “If I’m terrified and I’m used to being on camera, and I’m used to reporting, telling the news, and being vulnerable, I can’t imagine what a normal person feels like.” I reluctantly agreed to do a news story with them.

At this point, my daughter was in the hospital for a few weeks, then she was transferred to an inpatient facility. We were going through this process. I did the story on the news and said, “If you’re watching this now, check on your children. Ask them to point blank if they’re suicidal. Honest questions get honest answers.” After it aired, a father reached out to me and he said, “You just saved my daughter’s life.” I said, “What do you mean?” “I saw your story on the news. I went to check on her. She had written her note. She was in the process of trying to end her life. I caught her. We’re in the hospital. Thank you.” Another family reached out and said, “We appreciate you being vulnerable. We talked to our son. He confessed he had a plan to end his life this weekend. We’re getting him help.”

That has led us to the journey now. I thought if my personal story on local news could save two that I know of out of 20,000 to 30,000 people that might’ve seen it, what if we could reach 200,000 or 2 million? I’m sure you remember. I remember I was a little kid, but Live Aid from 1985. Do you remember that?

Absolutely.

Wasn’t that amazing how all the seniors, celebrities, and musicians around the globe came together to raise money to feed the starving children in Africa? My thought was, “What if we could do something similar to help with mental health, suicide, addiction, and trauma, and just get people talking about it? How can we support this cause?” I bootstrapped an event. We did a family-friendly show. We got about 60 singers, dancers, influencers, and survivors. We did something unique.

With my experience as a producer for many years working in media and production, I thought if we want to reach people, we’ve got to take the messages where they are on the devices and platforms they use through the people they already know, like, and follow. We didn’t try to create an audience. We tried to bring messaging, including resources, 988, and things like that to people where they already are. We were able to reach about 160,000 people. That got us to the point where we are now with our Promise 2 Live campaign and our Promise 2 Live event coming up on September 10th, 2023.

This is almost sad to have to say this, but I know as people hear this, it will be the first time they’re hearing 988.

Unfortunately, there’s a brand new study that just came out. 988 is like the 911 for mental health and only 18% of the people know about it. Our goal with our campaign and our show is to let people know, not just about 988, but other community resources and groups like NAMI, AFSP, Jed, and other organizations are out there making a difference, but people don’t know readily who they are and what they are.

OYM Brandy Vega | Suicide

Suicide: 988 is like 911 for mental health. Only 18% of the people know about it.

 

If people text 988, what happens?

You end up going through and you get a crisis responder on there that will help and triage. It’s a free service. It’s open to anyone anywhere around the country. They go through and you can find help and resources. You can ask questions. You can find guidance. They can get you through hardships or hard times. In some cases, depending on what’s going on, they might even send a crisis counselor to you.

You mentioned NAMI as well. What’s been your experience with NAMI?

As a person with lived experience and going through this as a mom, I had no idea what NAMI was. I’d never even heard of it. I didn’t hear about it the first time my daughter went through it. The second time, I had to do research. NAMI is a group and it’s nationwide. They have chapters everywhere. They do individual counseling. They do group. There’s training, education, and resources. It’s NAMI.org. It’s a resource available for anyone for free.

Have you had some training with them? Don’t they have a family training program?

We haven’t done any training directly with them. I have partnered up with NAMI, AFSP, and LiveOn here in Utah and government groups to be a part of their suicide prevention coalition as we move forward in the work. Also, to learn about safe messaging because there’s a lot you don’t know when you’re getting into the space like proper terminology, the do’s and don’ts on how you respond to things, words to avoid like committed, or sharing how somebody died or attempted to die and glamorizing it. I’ve learned a lot as I’ve been in the process with them, but I am trying to share the resources.

For me, my whole goal with Promise 2 Live is one, we’re asking people everywhere. Whether or not they struggle, if they ever find themselves in a dark place of despair and they’re hopeless, they’ll reach out to someone, a friend, a family member, or a trusted resource like NAMI or AFSP, or call or text 988. Not directly related to suicide per se, but studies in general about making a promise show people are 60% to 80% more likely to keep a promise made ahead of time.

If you ever find yourself in a dark place of despair and feel hopeless, reach out to someone, a friend, a family member, or a trusted resource like NAMI or call or text 988. Share on X

The first step is for you. The second step is I’m part of a Grand Challenge Committee. I’m on the Synergies team. They went to this global organization. They said, “What’s the biggest thing plaguing the planet?” They said, “Mental health, suicide, and addiction.” All the experts said, “How do we fix that?” “We stop the stigma.” “How do we do that?” With this Promise 2 Live Campaign, our group has come up with a way that we think can help stop the stigma because once people take the promise, they share it. There’s a one-click share for social media. The point of that is to help us start these conversations, stop the stigma, and become a safe place.

When we can start talking about it, then people know they’re not alone, they learn about these new resources, and we can start saving lives. That’s what we’re doing. If people want more information, they can also opt-in and get help and resources along the way and learn about our partners. I’m learning things every day as I dive into this about copper toxicity, things I’ve never even heard of, and ketamine treatments. We’re trying to create on our website a vetted database of resources with folks like you who are working in this field and this industry to say, “Here are options maybe you haven’t heard of, thought of, and tried. Here are resources, tools, and things that you can do.”

It’s Promise2Live.org. Is it September 2023? Is it that early?

September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day. We did it on September 10, 2022. We’re doing it again this 2023. We plan to make it an annual event every September 10th. It’s the day the world recognizes suicide prevention. We’re putting on a show. We pivoted a little bit in 2022. We had a three-hour family-friendly all-ages show and it was fantastic. This 2023, we’re breaking it down into a kid show, a teen show, and an adult show. We can have more targeted messages and age-appropriate ones with our partners. We’re working on potentially streaming it out on multiple platforms again. We’ve partnered up with SMASH House and USANA Health Sciences. They’ve been a great partner and resource. They’re sharing the message from the top down, which is what we’re trying to do.

We want everyone everywhere with any influence, which is basically everyone. We’re trying to get CEOs, executives, influencers, celebrities, and performers to jump on board, take the promise to live and share it, and help us spread the message where our goal is to make it as popular as Ice Bucket. What they did for ALS, imagine what we could do for mental health and suicide if everybody comes together to help share the resources. What’s cool is it’s tangible. It’s simple yet significant. Every 40 seconds, someone dies by suicide. In that same amount of time, we’ve created this challenge that people can do. They can take it and they can share it in that same amount of time. Imagine the impact of everybody doing that.

Is that one suicide every 40 seconds here in the US?

This is a global campaign. We’re based out of Utah, but we have a national approach. We’re working with lots of different national and global companies. This isn’t a US-only problem.

It’s been recognized for a long time in these little pockets, so it’s wonderful to have somebody with some media savvy start dedicating some extra resources to it. When you say we’re doing a show, are you having it locally there in Utah? Are you going to have local people attending? Is this all going to be through the media?

It will all be streamed online. We’re doing a live stream show. We’re filming segments now. We’re meeting with people. We’re going to LA for the Hollywood Independent Music Awards. We’re being acknowledged for our work. We’re going to be interviewing some more celebrities and performers. We’ll be putting the show together, and then we’ll be streaming it at Promise2Live.org. People can go there to watch the stream.

We’ll be streaming it through our partners and various platforms. We’re trying to secure connections and relationships with groups like iHeart and Sinclair Broadway Media. Also, I’m pretty excited about this. We have a Latino version of the Promise 2 Live called “Promesa Para Vivir.” I don’t speak Spanish very well, but we’re working to create a one-hour Latino show in 2023 as well. We have the website Promise 2 Live in Spanish for our Latino friends.

If you think about this in terms of you as a parent, what would you say was the most significant resource or set of resources to help you get stable through this, feel grounded, or feel some hope through this?

I’m not going to lie. It’s been a very painful, difficult, and long process. I’m an individual who finds hope in volunteering, paying it forward, and trying to take the pain and turn it into some kind of purpose. I have an amazing advisory team, which has been fantastic. Several people on my team have lost parents, spouses, siblings, or children to suicide. What’s pushed me along is knowing that I have a second chance and trying to prevent others from going forward with this. As a parent, I know the pitfalls and the issues that I’ve been through. Now, working in some of these groups, I can say, “This feels broken here. What are we doing?” I’m trying to help be part of the solution.

There’s been a lot of great groups and people out there who are pushing hard to make a difference. We partnered with some of these guys like Stand 4 Kind, ResilientYOU, and Uplift Families. Our goal is not just to deal with suicide prevention. We believe prevention starts with our babies in teaching resiliency, dealing with emotions, and processing feelings. We’re working on that. Starting young, building within the families, and trying to prevent as much as we can.

Prevention starts with our babies, teaching them resiliency, dealing with emotions, and processing feelings. Share on X

How long has it been since your daughter’s last attempt?

She did at twelve. She did it again at fourteen. You can imagine when sixteen rolled around, it was very triggering for me. I had a lot of anxiety and stuff. I’m happy to report. She’s an incredible artist. She’s doing very well. She’s taking college courses. It’s been a few years. There was a phrase that I read in a big study that came out. It was sometime between February 2021 and March 2021, about a three-week window, there was a record number of suicides and suicide attempts. My child happened to fall at that same time. I don’t know what was going around. It could have been something with social media, politics, or in the air. I have no idea, but she happened to fall in that window of a record number of attempts.

I am grateful for your willingness to share that gut-wrenching experience in a way that is healing. As you said, you understand it was a challenge for you, yet you’re comfortable with media. It’s unspeakable to think about doing that even when you’re comfortable with media. If you’re not, I have all the empathy in the world for people who don’t want to come out and talk publicly about it. At the same time, I understand that’s the way we heal and grow when we bring these things out of secrecy into the light of direct awareness.

That’s been one of the biggest things. It’s hard. I was a single mom. I had a nonprofit. I had a video production company. I had just adopted a baby through foster care. I was a surrogate. I had all these amazing things that I was doing and working on, but then this made me feel like such a failure. I must be the world’s worst mom. My child hates me so much. “They’d rather be dead.” All the things that you say are not true, there are lies that we tell ourselves, but there is a stigma associated with that. Also, being vulnerable in a way. I was in the military. I worked in law enforcement. I worked in television. People can’t see me crying, emotional, and not knowing what to do because then are they going to trust me with their business?

There are all these things that you worry about, especially doctors, nurses, first responders, and the military. They think, “If I say anything, I might lose my career.” We have a long way to go. It is uncomfortable. I shared with the ad council that vulnerable video that I shared on my page. I hadn’t shared it since that time. It took so much courage. I’m talking about this day in and day out, but then to show that video of me sitting in my car lost crying was ripping the wound wide open again. I also thought we were asking people to start opening up and talking about it. If I still can’t do it, you got to lead by example. Everyone says, “We should stop it. Somebody should do something and someone should be.” It’s hard to be that somebody and be that someone.

I strongly recommend to people that they do exactly what you did. Go back and revisit. Hopefully, they’ll also have some actual practical tools they can use to dismantle the energy of the trauma and the negative beliefs about self that are prompting all those tears and all the negative emotions. If over time, I’m willing to go back and, in your case, watch the video, or in some cases, if I’ve done targeted journaling and now I’ve got all of this raw emotional stuff that’s spilled out on the page, when I go back and read it, if it still brings up emotion in me, I sit with it, I breathe, I let the emotions run through me, and I apply the tools that can help me identify and dismantle the trauma energies or the negative beliefs I might still be holding.

That’s how I move through it lighter. I move through it more solid and integrated. Journey’s Dream was founded by people who lost a son and brother to mental health and suicide. How do you know? Was it intentional or was it accidental? Was it driven by psychosis? Another gentleman had a severe mental health cycle and went through several hospitalizations. Those four people had been exposed to a set of tools by Dr. Michael Ryce. They decided, “This is such a good set of tools. We need to repackage it and formulate it in a way that could be more palatable to the average person.”

Now, they’ve got the optimal tool and they’ve got the optimal being program. That’s at the core of Journey’s Dream is to try and help bring awareness to those practical tools and other practical tools that help people actually integrate, feel stronger, and move forward in life with more confidence and more flexibility.

That’s what we need. That’s why it’s important in groups like yours and the work that you guys are doing is critical.

I strongly encourage you to keep watching that video until you do it one day and it looks like any other sitcom you watch. You don’t cry about it. You realize you’ve been through it. It might still resonate with some of that, but it becomes part of your understanding of your strength and resilience. By example, if you’re doing that, then by example, you’re one of the people who can shed some tears, keep talking, and understand you’re living the fact that “My expressing emotions doesn’t indicate weakness or flaw. It’s a part of my flexibility and strength.”

That’s a learned and developed trait. I’ve got to figure that out, but I know as I’ve been able to speak about it for the last few years, some sometimes are easy. I can get through it now and talk a little bit more matter of fact. There are other moments where the second I open my mouth, the tears start falling. I had an experience in the past week where one of my dear friend’s sons tried to end his life. It was very traumatic for me to support my friend through this, and then call a colleague in my industry and find them in the middle of contemplating ending their life. There’s been a lot of things that have happened through this process.

When you start opening up, talking, and looking at opportunities to serve, it’s when you know, you notice sort of thing. As I had this conversation with my friend randomly out of the blue, he was in his garage contemplating life or death and whether or not he should end it. Spending the time talking to them, getting the promise through, and letting them know they’re not alone and there are resources. It’s been draining at times, but overall, I feel so blessed that the pain and the trials that we’ve been through can help and serve others in a way that’s meaningful and lifesaving in many chances.

OYM Brandy Vega | Suicide

Suicide: The pain and trials we’ve been through can help and serve others in a meaningful and lifesaving way in many chances.

 

It is the idea that a lot of people talk about being vulnerable. I prefer to talk about being wide open because, in essence, your true essence or who you are can’t be hurt. It’s not about staying open to being hurt, it’s about staying open to honest revelation and flow. If you hadn’t opened that conversation, you may have lost another friend.

That’s what’s so powerful about Promise2Live.org. When I went to the website, I was about to click “pass it” because I’m not someone who’s been struggling with that in the most recent segments of my life. I might have had thoughts like that when I was younger, but then I read the beautifully written thing that said, “Please, even if you’re not struggling with this, make the promise, click on it, share it, and help us get the word out.” We just have to be honest about what we’re going through to open the door to all kinds of synchronicities and blessings.

I agree with that. It’s been amazing to me, all of the doors and opportunities that have opened as we’ve been talking about it. Groups that we can work with, people who didn’t know, people who can support us, and those we can support. Again, it’s a simple and significant way that we can all be a part of this. Whether it’s impacting you directly right now, you don’t know who in your circle, we don’t know who’s dealing with this. There are people who have constant chronic pain. There are people who might have something pop up tomorrow. Just knowing that you said or shared something that you’re a safe space, now all of a sudden they’ll go, “I feel comfortable talking to him.”

Being wide open, that’s a great way to look at it, because being vulnerable feels scary and hard. People are saying, “You have to have these hard conversations.” I said, “They’re more honest and they’re important just like you would talk to your child about stranger danger or the birds and the bees, or all of these things.” It’s okay that people know you should be talking to, not just your children, your spouse, your parents, and your coworkers, and say, “How’s your mental health? Are you feeling suicidal? Are you doing okay?” Asking that question doesn’t plant that thought. Either it’s there or it’s not.

I did an interview with One Million Lives. This is a very large mechanical engineering firm. One of the higher-ups realized that one of the smartest people he knew confessed to him that he was having mental health issues. He went, “Wait a minute. You?” He started asking around and found out, guess what? It’s all over the place. They created this online weekly check-in where you can answer a series of questions real quick and get an assessment of how you’re doing in 4 or 5 areas of your life. Mental health, physical health, stress, diet, exercise, etc.

They said, “We’ll make this available to our people. Why not our people and our vendors? It’s all done and we can put it online. Why not just open it up to whoever?” Here’s this regular “check your mental health status” every week is what’s recommended. Stay awake and aware of these various areas like the legs of 4 or 5 different points where you can reach stability or you might feel a little unstable, and then you can address that.

One of the things I love, USANA Health and Sciences is teamed up with us. They know the importance. They’re working with everybody on health and science. Mental health is just as critical. Their CEO, Kevin Guest, has spoken openly about some of the challenges and different things. They did a retreat with their top executives. They asked some hard questions, then they passed around the paper. Through this anonymous quiz, they found that a high level of their top performers we’re talking like 20% of their top 200 performers had thought about suicide and were struggling with mental health. This isn’t something that only affects a certain demographic. That’s what’s so complex with mental health and suicide. Rich, old, young, poor, Black, White, smart, uneducated, it doesn’t matter. It does not discriminate.

What's so complex with mental health and suicide is it does not discriminate. This isn’t something that only affects a certain demographic. Share on X

The other thing is sometimes people feel hopeless. No, you can’t give up. There are options. There are things that work. There’s treatment. There’s training. There are so many resources, but sometimes we don’t even know what’s available and out there. That’s part of our mission with Promise 2 Live. We want to pull all of those resources into one place so people can tap into it and say, “I’d never even heard of this. I didn’t know that was an option. Maybe I can find help or hope in here.”

I have the thought to scroll through some of the people we’ve interviewed over the past years and find the highlights of people who are doing similar work to what you’re doing and pass the names along to you as you might network with them and coordinate some of that.

I would love that. One of the biggest things that we’ve been trying to do is saying, “Who do I know? Whom do you know?” Cold calling is rough, but we’re trying to create this collaborative of individuals from all walks of life that say, “This is important and I can do something.” Thinking about our circles, it doesn’t matter how many people follow you, subscribe, watch, or listen, it only takes one. For me, knowing that the work that we’ve been doing so far saved at least three lives from people who’ve reached out gives me the courage every day to get up and to continue fighting and to continue pushing forward on this.

If anyone’s tuning in anywhere who wants to be involved from sharing the message, taking the promise, streaming the work that we’re doing, and sponsoring, we’re still looking for sponsors and partners. It takes money to put this work on, but for me, that’s the least of my ask because I would rather have an impact. It’s all about impact over ego. It’s all about buy-in and getting people to stay with us and to find ways to survive. I feel like the money and everything else will come, but what’s most important is that we get people to be safe and to stay with us.

OYM Brandy Vega | Suicide

Suicide: What’s most important is that we get people to be safe today and to stay with us.

 

Have you heard about SameHereGlobal.Org?

Yes. Mark got me in touch with them, and so we had a conversation.

It’s on the list that I would forward to you, Dr. Andrew Pleener, but you’re already hooked up there. As I said, I’ll take some time over this weekend and go back through the list of 130 to 140 different people we’ve interviewed. A lot of those are in this line. These are people with lived experience and they’re individuals, but there are a couple of them like Same Here Global and the One Million Lives Projects. I’ll forward that list to you. It could be a short list, but every little bit may help.

I appreciate that. The biggest thing that we’re finding is this isn’t a niche. Mental health, suicide, addiction, trauma, and all the stuff we’re working on, everything is so cyclical. If you’re dealing with trafficking, great. If you’re dealing with homelessness, great. If you’re dealing with hunger, great. At the end of the day, all of those affect the people, the person, and it has an impact. We’ve been working with every nonprofit and for-profit we can get our hands on. It doesn’t need to be that they’re in suicide prevention or mental health. It doesn’t mean that our missions need to align.

What we’re trying to find is, where is the synergy in this? You’re dealing with humans. We’re dealing with humans. The people who run these organizations, your employees, your clients, your circle. There are so many people who are impacted directly or indirectly that we feel like this is a message that needs to be spread far and wide in every group. That’s what we’re looking to find collaboration and synergy on.

Take a breath, get centered, and think, “Here’s everything we’ve already talked about.” Do we want to go back and highlight a particular piece of that? Is there something we haven’t even touched on yet you want to leave our audience with?

I feel like I’ve done a lot of talking and I feel like I’ve shared quite a bit of pertinent information. One of the most important things I want people to know is, it’s brave to reach out for help. It’s strong to look for these things. It’s not a sign of weakness. It’s okay to talk openly to somebody you love or even a stranger. There are resources. There is hope. You are not alone. Look at those. If you are struggling, call or text 988. If you’re struggling, make the promise to live because sometimes we don’t care or love ourselves as much as we care or love someone else.

It's brave to reach out for help; it's not a sign of weakness. It's okay to talk openly to somebody you love or even a stranger. There are resources and hope. You are not alone. Share on X

If I tell you, I’m going to show up. Even if I don’t want to show up, I will because I respect you. Sometimes, all we need is that motivation. We need that minute. We need that promise that we’ll do something, even if not for ourselves, for the good of ourselves through someone else and love. I hope that people know that we do need you. You are valuable, you do matter, there is hope, and there is hope. Don’t be afraid, ashamed, or embarrassed to reach out for it. That’s what it’s there for. It’s incredibly brave. You’re going to thank yourself for doing it later and your loved ones will too.

I went to a funeral the other day. If you hear everybody get up and say all these amazing things about the person. “All the stories and the love, what inspired them, and what motivated you.” I wish, as I sat there, “What if we would’ve said these things in life? What if everyone had been open and shared those words of encouragement, love, and adoration before the person died? Maybe the outcomes might be different.” I encourage anyone who’s tuning in that check on those you love and check on yourself. Reach out and make sure you share.

Pick a few people each day. Let them know that you love them. Let them know what you love about them. Even strangers, we had a guy whose daughter was contemplating suicide. She said, “I’m going to do this act unless somebody acknowledges me.” Just as she was getting ready to end her life, somebody hollered across the street and said, “You’re beautiful. You’re loved.” That was the message she needed. You don’t know whose life you might save, maybe somebody else’s, maybe your own, by giving a message of encouragement, sharing a resource, and sharing something on social media. It’s worth it and you’re worth it.

One other final thought I would like to share is, there was a study that came out. It’s 49 pages and it’s got a lot of information. It’s one of the newest ones this year. It said that the suicide rate amongst 10 to 17-year-olds has gone up 71% since 2010. That was staggering to me. I’ve got a couple of kids. I’ve got a 21, a 16, and a 6-year-old. As I thought about that rate, it was like, “Why has the suicide rate gone up amongst these kids at that age?” I don’t have all the answers, but people think maybe smartphones, social media, lack of connection, lack of sleep, and food choices. There are a lot of variables, but the number one thing that we can do to combat that is connection.

OYM Brandy Vega | Suicide

Suicide: The suicide rate amongst 10 to 17-year-olds has gone up to 71% since 2010.

 

Absolutely.

Connecting with your kids, connecting with your loved ones. Disconnecting to reconnect. Having those chats and taking the time to look at safe tech. There are a lot of dangerous things that are going on. We team up with Gabb Wireless, which is a fantastic company providing cell phones with safe tech. There are over 500,000 predators online every day. Being able to protect our kids, connecting with our kids, and having those open conversations daily. “How are you doing, kid? What do you need? Where are you at? Will you talk to me? Will you promise you’ll talk to me?” That can do a lot of good.

As you started that, you were talking about it’s okay to ask for help and it’s brave to ask for help. I remember one of the smartest people I ever met told me one time through her fear, she was doing a new project. When she came back from it, she said, “I learned in this experience that the more I ask for help, the stronger I feel.” We are trained to do the opposite, yet the true life experience is because it connects us to others, and because we learn, we get stronger when we ask for help. It is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of willingness to grow stronger.

I love that. I agree. This is another thing that I believe has a stigma.

Asking for help. I thank you deeply and greatly for taking the time to share with us. It is Promise2Live.org. There will be a streaming event on September 10th, 2023. Thank you so much. It’s been a pleasure. I will be in touch.

Brandy Vega is the Founder and President of Good Deed Revolution. Also, CEO of Vega Media Studios. Brandy is on a mission to save lives and help others. After nearly losing her daughter to suicide in 2021. During this difficult time, she pled for help on social media and her video went viral. Shortly after that, KSLTV asked her to share her story on the news. In the interview, she told parents to stop what they’re doing, go check on their kids, and ask them point-blank if they are suicidal.

After the interview aired, she received messages from two families that followed her advice, checked on their kids, and saved two lives. Knowing that two lives out of 20,000 to 30,000 people in that audience were saved, a fire in her heart was lit. How many lives could be saved if 20 million or 200 million people could be reached? That was the catalyst for her campaign titled Promise 2 Live. That’s Promise2Live.org.

 

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About Brandy Vega

OYM Brandy Vega | SuicideFounder/President of Good Deed Revolution

CEO of Vega Media Studios

Brandy Vega, is on a mission to save lives and help others after nearly losing her 14-year-old daughter to suicide in 2021. During this difficult time she pled for help on social media, and her video went viral. Shortly after, KSLTV asked her to share her story on the news. In the interview, she told parents to stop what they were doing, go check on their kids and ask them point-blank if they are suicidal. After the interview aired she received messages from two families that followed her advice and checked on their kids saved two kids lives! Knowing that two lives out of 20-30 thousand audience were saved, a fire in her heart was lit. How many lives could be saved if 20 million or even 200 million people could be reached? This was the catalyst for LiveLIVE!

 

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