Dear Friends of Hope,

National Suicide Prevention Month is both a sensitive and critical time. Sensitive, due to the unfortunately large number of people affected by mental illness. And critical, because it’s up to us to do something about it.

My grandfather, Charles N. Huggins, Sr. died by suicide at a fairly young age. He lived in an age where admitting you had a mental illness was not accepted by society. My Father, Charles N. Huggins Jr. had to live with the stigma of his father dying by suicide and had a hidden mental illness. This was never talked about in my family because of the shame and stigma it created for the Huggins family.

It’s important that we don’t blame those facing mental illness, but promote opportunities for care and support. I have made a commitment to help breakdown the barriers that prevented my Grandfather and many others from accessing the mental health services they need.

In 2011, I started an anti-mental health stigma campaign with a fundraiser put on by NAMI and Caminar for Mental Health, introducing Doris and Warren Buffett’s new book, which shed light on their grandmother’s and mother’s mental illnesses.

This was the first in a series of annual event’s called In Concert with Caminar (and Hope), where prominent musicians talked about their mental illness or a family member’s challenges with a mental health condition. These ongoing efforts are an attempt to normalize mental health conditions in the public sphere to help prevent suicide in our communities.

If you are struggling, remember there is hope and that help is available.

Charles “Chip” Huggins, JD

Warm wishes,

Charles “Chip” Huggins, JD

Hope Services is committed to providing people with the resources necessary to access the life-saving help they need. Here are some warning signs of a suicidal mental state:

  • Talking about wanting to die
  • Searching online for a way to kill onself
  • Talking about revenge or expressing rage
  • Talking about being a burden to other people
  • Increasing use of alcohol and drugs
  • Talking about being hopeless or having no reason to live
  • Acting anxious, agitated or behaving recklessly
  • Sleeping too much or not enough
  • Prolonged emotional distress
  • Self isolation

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, help is available 24/7, 365 days a year. National Suicide Hotline: 1(800) 273-8255. You can also dial 988 to speak to someone who will listen and support. The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in crisis or emotional distress around the clock. You are not alone.