Raising Community Awareness
Not-for-Profit Foundation Helping Individuals Nationwide
Voices for Awareness Foundation based in Grand Junction, CO attends events nationwide to promote community awareness by sharing personal stories of loss and the effects of addiction and self-harm to prevent others from losing their lives to such causes. As a not-for-profit foundation, we speak on the dangers of counterfeit drugs and their prevalence in our world today.
Real Stories Bringing Awareness
“My sister’s name was Tammy. It was the mid-eighties. She was 19 at the time, and I was 22 (I’m 53 now). She had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia the year before and had begun taking medications. But because she was paranoid and there was lack of care available to her, she never stayed on them and would frequently have psychotic episodes that would last for extended periods of time. She bounced back and forth between my mom and my grandmother in an effort to help, but neither had the support or ability to handle this kind of disease.
Over the next year, her mental breaks became more and more self-harming and vocally violent toward the people she loved. On one occasion, she called me while in the throes of an episode and was in a panic that she was surrounded by the devil and the devil was our mother. It was as if she, herself, was possessed by some other being and even her voice and tone were different from the girl I knew. The things she was saying were horrific, and all I could do was just remind myself that this was her disease and not my sweet sister.
We felt helpless to do anything for her and the options were limited. There was no real information out there at the time especially for someone in a poor financial state. So, she was left to care for herself as the disease wouldn’t allow her to accept care from her family.
My last conversation with her was heartbreaking. She was in a moment of clarity and explained to me that she was in so much pain because of the disease and that she always remembered the events and was unable to prevent them from happening. She didn’t know what to do and believed there was no help for her. She was so vulnerable, and I lived so far away and could do nothing to bring her relief. We cried, and as she hung up, she told me she loved me and me her.
Shortly after that, my mom gave me the news that Tammy had committed suicide in her home. She used a shotgun to end her pain. I believed then and still do today, that she felt that was her only option and that the pain and inability to care for herself were too great.
What’s saddest to me is the stigma associated with mental illness and the lack of resources available to all those affected by it. It has only marginally improved since the ‘80s and certainly not at a rate I would have expected considering all that we have learned.
She is loved and missed, and if I can bring awareness to the pain that this illness causes for those involved, most especially those with the disease, then I will have given honor to her memory.”
July 27th, 2019 CMU University Plaza
Voices for Awareness Conference at 11:00AM
Fight for Awareness at 7:00PM
Voices for Awareness Foundation Attended Opioid Summit Las Vegas March 5th, 2019
Join Our Community Awareness Efforts
Our team at Voices for Awareness Foundation is always eager to work on projects that promote awareness about addiction and self-harm within our organization and the community. We provide contacts and resources for people that have lost a loved one to addiction or self-harm or those who feel moved to spread the word in hopes of helping save a life. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you wish to connect with our not-for-profit organization.