Those who know me well, know that I love to swim. Those who know me really well know that swimming is also key to my wellbeing: it calms my anxiety, reduces my stress, cleanses my brain so that there is room for me to think strategically and creatively, and, yes, helps me stay physically fit. It also, quite simply, brings me joy.
On November 11, I will be attempting what for me will me an epic swim: 5 miles in open water, the longest distance available to participants in the annual St. Croix Coral Reef Swim.
This event is not tied to any sort of fundraising—which to me was a wasted opportunity. Thus, I’m reaching out to my network to ask that you support a cause that is very important to me, and very personal: suicide prevention. Every year suicide claims more lives than war, murder, and natural disasters combined, and yet suicide prevention doesn't get anywhere near the funding given to other leading causes of death.
Like I'm sure many of you have, I've been personally affected by suicide, losing someone (more than one, actually) I cared about in this manner. That's why I decided to use my epic challenge, and my source of joy, as a means of changing the conversation about suicide and mental health, and raising funds on behalf of the American Society for Suicide Prevention.