May 5, 2014 A Will To Live Blog
So yesterday I had the ultimate pleasure of speaking to a large group of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity brothers at GA Southern University – along with some additional friends of Alex Keen, a brother, who took his own life less than a month ago.
I told these heart broken young men to recognize the love and hope that they have in each other. I gave them the Life Teammate Message – and made them drop a “love ya man” on each other. I then challenged them to honor their friend by spreading the awareness and education of mental health issues, depression and teen / young adult suicide in our communities. The statistics tells us that today that one on 10 college students have at one time had a plan for suicide – and that’s just not acceptable. They agreed – these boys miss their friend – they miss his smile – and they don’t want this to ever repeat.
When my speech ended – many of them came up to me to say “thanks” – one in particular said the following;
“Mr. Trautwein, now I understand – two summers ago – I was playing in a lacrosse tourney in Michigan – and after one of our games, the other team asked us to meet at midfield – as they “had something for us’. One of the players – then spoke about losing a friend and teammate to suicide (he was talking about your son Will) – and how that we as teammates need to recognize the love and hope that we have in our friends and life teammates on and off the field…. he then gave us a bunch of stickers for our helmets that say “Will To Live” on them and “Life Teammates”.. Mr. Trautwein, that sticker is still on my lax helmet today… and now I finally know why… thank you…..”
Making an impact… that’s what the kids of Will To Live are doing – by simply telling each other that life is hard and together we can get through it a little easier -and maybe have a little more fun while we’re doing it….
I’d like to thank the Brothers of Pi Kappa Phi at GA Southern – and I’d like to thank the kids of Will to Live…. Alex Keen, like my son Will – were wonderful young men who died too young…. they would be proud of what you guys are doing and planning as we talk about bringing the awareness message of Life Teammates and the education message of Signs of Suicide to GA Southern…..
I drove 3.5 hours yesterday each way – to meet these fine young men….By the time I made it back home – there must have been 25 tweets about Will To Live and GA Southern…. and I must say that I am very much looking forward to seeing these fine young men again in the fall.. to continue spreading the love and the hope of Will To Live.
Love ya Man!