Approximately 2,000 people took their own lives on 18 January 1987, Michael Daniel Moore was one of them. He left behind a wife and three children ages six, five, and three. He was neither a bad nor a stupid person. He was a person in pain who saw no other way out. He was my father. I carry Daniel as my middle name, just as he did. Though I need no such reminders, I feel his death every day, even now after 20 years.
Sadly, I am not alone in this experience. Over 1 million people die by suicide each year, mostly due to untreated mental illness. My mission is to ensure that 20 years from now our children and children’s children will not have to be affected as we have been.
So today, on the 20th anniversary of my father's death, I introduce an idea called "NoStigmas" to raise awareness and erase the stigmas of suicide and mental illness with fresh ideas promoting a message of hope and equality. While this idea is motivated by the past, the movement is fueled by the hope of a future without suicide or shame of mental illness. I maintain a "no apologies" approach to making sure people know the true impact of stigmas. This message is important to every individual and needs to be conveyed in an exciting and energetic manner which affirms life and inspires the courage to speak up!
With your help, we can build a community of survivors and stigma erasers. By bringing people together through this common cause with support, resources and stories of hope, we can break the chain of silence. I charge each of you with the task of telling your story and spreading the word about NoStigmas. A suicide attempt is made every minute of every day. Don't let another day go by!
Jacob Daniel Moore
18 January 2007