Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Climbing mountains has been my greatest passion for the last 20 years. It has given me a purpose and direction when I was lost, it has lifted me up when depression has tried to tear me down. So when I reached a low point in my life and made the decision to leave school for a year, it was only natural that I would turn to mountaineering to fill that void. Combining that with my other passion, suicide prevention, seemed only natural. It was a moment, or several moments, of inspiration that brought this together.
What do you hope to achieve?
Our mission is comprised of several ideas. The first, of course, is to help erase the stigma and shame that still surrounds depression and suicidal ideation. Depression is one of the most common forms of mental illness. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 16.2 million adults have suffered at least one major depressive episode in their lives, representing 6.7 percent of the United States population. Suicide is also one of the leading causes of death. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide was the tenth leading cause of death in 2016, with an estimated 45,000 deaths. And the rates continue to rise. My home state of Utah has one of the highest rates of suicide in the nation, ranking fifth nationally. Thankfully, attitudes are changing, but there is a lot of work that remains to be done.
Another objective is to raise money for the groups doing important work on the issue of suicide prevention. To Write Love On Her Arms, Hope for the Day, the National Foundation for Suicide Prevention and locally, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Southwest Affiliate. With your help (donate here) we will raise significant funds for this important cause.
And lastly, for myself, accomplishing this goal will be a significant achievement in my life. Along the way, we will be telling stories of those we have lost, those we have almost lost, and show the human side of depression and suicide. It’s easy to get lost in statistics and numbers, but it’s important to remember that these are real people, as are those who were left behind.
What can I do?
We invite everyone to take part in this campaign. There are so many different ways that you can help. The first, and easiest, is to donate. Every little bit helps. Can’t donate? Then please share this campaign with friends and loved ones. We can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and of course our Gofundme campaign. We will also soon be starting our site at Patreon as well. Then, beyond these steps, you are also invited to join us on our easier, non-technical climbs (space is however, limited.) Lastly, you are also invited to submit your own stories of how suicide and depression have affected your lives. This can be a very difficult thing to do, but your stories will be handled with respect and love and we will work with you to ensure that it is handled in a way that honors these painful experiences.