"We're not just athletes or entertainment—we're human, too, and we have real emotions. Sometimes they don't realize that we have things going on behind the scenes that affects us whenever we go out and compete.” —Simone Biles, Team USA Olympian
It’s hard to ignore or not to know what’s happened in sports, pop culture, and media over the course of the past week as the 2020 Tokyo Olympics take place as coverage, recaps, and live performances are everywhere.
But this year’s Games feel different—and they are different if not just for the fact that the Games were delayed a year, there aren’t fans allowed onsite, and all athletes are donning masks on the medal podiums. This year, perhaps just in time, the narrative is different. It’s not about medal count, world records, or Cinderella stories. This year, with a global spotlight, we’re talking about mental health.
Many of us, (millions of us), know how Simone Biles, Michael Phelps, and Naomi Osaka feel—or those we love dearly know how they feel firsthand. But where the shift is occurring is at that crucial level of fame, notoriety, and expectation. Pro athletes, musicians, actors, and other people of fame have the podium, the microphone, and the platforms to speak up on all of our behalfs. And now, as Simone Biles proves, they too have the courage.
May we all continue to cheer them on in the name of advocacy.
Reyne & Scott Roeder
Just as we did with the Jackson Roeder Memorial Fund, there are local families generating awareness and raising funds to make a difference in suicide prevention. While nothing will ever replace our lost children, the missions we carry out in their honor help us grieve, remember, and do something positive in the darkness of loss.
With that, we’re sharing three opportunities to support families in their quests to continue the legacy of their kids while increasing awareness and support for mental health and suicide prevention.
Matt Orth Memorial Golf Tournament—Saturday, August 7th at Wapicada in St. Cloud. All proceeds will be split between Matthew M. Orth Scholarship at Lawrence University, his alma mater, and to CentraCare Suicide Prevention Program in honor of Matt’s older brother, Travis.
Dylan’s Hope Charity Golf Tournament—Friday, August 13th at Pebble Creek in Becker. All event proceeds benefit Dylan’s Hope Foundation which focuses on suicide prevention especially in teens.
Run With the Herd 5k—Thursday, August 19th at Phalen Park in St. Paul. The race proceeds directly go to SAVE: Suicide Awareness Voices of Education in honor of Tim Poferl. We have a team and will be participating!
Fly With Hope
We joined Quiet Oaks Hospice for its 10th annual memorial butterfly release the last weekend in July at Munsinger Gardens. It’s an event dedicated to connecting community in remembrance of those we love and lost as we celebrate their beautiful lives.
Quiet Oaks founder Joe Bauer created the event to increase awareness of Quiet Oaks Hospice House and to remember those who have passed away at Quiet Oaks. The symbolism of the butterfly is that of transformation, beauty, and the fleeting nature of life. Butterflies, it seemed, could be embraced by families in the grieving process.
Numerous cultures embrace the presence of butterflies in their lore and traditions. In China, the butterfly represents eternal life. For Christians, the death of the caterpillar and its transformation into a majestic Monarch butterfly epitomizes the death of Christ and his resurrection and ascension into heaven. Among Native American culture, it is a symbol of joy and resurgence. The Butterfly Dance is a traditional social dance of the Hopi and is a petition for rain, good health, and long life for all living things. In Mexico, millions of butterflies take flight to central Mexico as part of their yearly migration and arrive during Day of the Dead. Mexican folklore believes these butterflies are the souls of the deceased, visiting the Earth on holy days to visit relatives and provide comfort.
Resources & Can't-Miss:
The Medical Profession & Suicide
Story featuring a Central Minnesota-based family of physicians reeling and responding to a daughter, sister, wife, and mother’s suicide.
Caregiving, Burnout, and the Pandemic
Podcast from NPR highlighting the toll caregiving has on people especially relating to mental health and suicide ideation.
My Life is Worth Living
Animated series from Wonder Media and Cook Center for Human Connection called My Life is Worth Living, aimed at youth to spark conversations surrounding suicide awareness and prevention.
Professional Stoicism & Embracing Vulnerability
Story from the New York Times on Olympian Simone Biles and the global spotlight pro athletes have to share their vulnerability.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-8255 or text “MN” to 741-741