Working to erase the stigma of mental illness and help prevent Suicide

About Joe & JJLMF

26 years old and in the prime of his life, Joe Laurencelle had a plan. An accomplished athlete, school teacher, coach, mentor and as handsome as any 26 year old man can be, he had life right where he wanted it. His family and friends all knew he could do anything he wished for and while he had some medical issues to deal with, it didn’t seem to slow him down.  Until the one night in October of 1994, when this wonderful young man made a decision that would destroy one life and leave family, friends, associates, teammates, and young children he taught in school to ask, “why?”  He committed suicide.

No warnings. No calls. No reaching out to Mom or Dad. Brothers or Sisters. And to this day, the questions remain, “Why?”  And Michael Laurencelle, Joe’s father and the Founder of JJLMF, said it best “Mental illness / Bi Polar disorder is a terrible disease. It destroys the brain and leaves one with what they believe are very few options. They don’t reach out. And for most of us, we don’t see it. We don’t hear it and we don’t offer help, because we don’t want to ‘upset’ anyone that seems moody or distant.” Mike also added, “I never ever want this to happen to another Family.”

Oddly enough, this is exactly what we need to know. And what JJLMF wants to encourage. We all should be better educated about mental illness and what signs to look for. What sounds to listen for and how to offer compassionate help and support to those around us, who really do need someone to listen. To help them and to help save their life.   By helping to erase the stigma that surrounds this terrible disease, we can open dialogue and teach more and more young people how to recognize the signs of depression and mental illness in time to help prevent suicide.

JJLMF continues to encourage everyone to listen and learn how to be confident and help us provide support to everyone that needs it, in the fight to erase that stigma that is mental illness.  Together we win.

The JJLMF Mission

To educate young men, women and their families about Mental Illness; To increase awareness in the community; and advocate for compassionate acceptance for the people who suffer from mental illness.