Suicide does not end the suffering of one, rather it transfers and multiplies it to the survivors left behind.

A tragedy with, an unparalleled ripple effect occurs when someone makes the choice to take their own life. The pain and heartache it leaves behind devastates breaks the hearts and crushes the spirits of families and friends who are left behind. Whole communities of people are left with complicated grief and haunting questions. It sends a subtle, hopeless message that spreads through communities like ripples in a pond.

By uniting communities to communicate a clear message against the lies that people in turmoil tend to believe, we can change the ripple effect.

Suicide is a permanent decision for a temporary problem. Seasons and feelings change. There is hope and there are people who can help in any situation.

Joe and Sheryl Stephens lives were forever changed when they received the news that their old son Jon had died by suicide. Nothing could have shocked or devastated them more. In the year that followed their community experienced several other suicides.

Each death added another hit to their already broken hearts. Watching their community struggle and being so personally impacted caused them to ponder “what could they do?” Suicide does not end the pain of one. It transfers that pain to those left behind.

Suicide impacts large numbers of people who are left with haunting questions and regrets, a vicious cycle of complicated grief and questions: The would have, could have, should have and how did we miss this? In their brokenness, they wanted to do something to unite their community around the tragedy of hopelessness.

They formed Our City Cares, which exists to unite city governments, businesses, schools, non-profits, and churches to combat the tragedy of suicide. The problem is too massive for one entity to combat. It will take a united effort.