You Are Loved – A Post About Depression, Suicide and Mental Illness

There was a suicide that took place in the neighboring community, at a place where I walk daily. It occurred just before New Years, and was quietly responded to and cleaned up before most of us knew what had happened; all that is left now are some signs that someone made stating “You are loved!”.  A few more signs were placed out yesterday that I’m glad to see.  I’ve been thinking about this a lot because it’s clear that more hearts have broken since this particular one stopped beating.  There is an emptiness that is left behind.  I didn’t know this person but I can feel the rift just the same.

Depression and mental illness affect my family.  Holidays are difficult, and it can be overwhelming.  We often lose sight of the love around us when depression sets in. Even when things are down, it’s important to know that you are loved.

Reach out, and be willing to let others reach out to you. 

Know that you are seen. Know that you are noticed.  Know that there is someone who cares enough to listen so that you can be heard.  Know that you matter.

Crisis Hotlines

  • UNI maintains a CrisisLine and Mobile Outreach team at 801-587-3000, or by going to
  • Utah County: Utah County Crisis Line: 801-691-5433
  • Wasatch Mental Health Crisis Line: 801-373-7393
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Trevor Project Hotline for LGBTQ teens: 1-866-488-7386


Homeless Services

Volunteers of America | Youth Homeless Services – individuals may come to the Youth Resource Center for a shower, to do laundry or get some food. VOA works to build trust and break down barriers that led to homelessness in order to help teens transform their lives.


  • PS I Love You Day – wear purple to stand up against bullying, help end depression, and ultimately prevent suicide. The group uses positive messaging and events to remind you that you are special, loved, and that you are never alone.
  • Stand for the Silent – a place for you to talk with others who are willing to listen, accept you and offer their love and advice. A place you are safe to say how you feel without the fear of being judged.
  • The Bully Project:
  • Anti-Bullying Pro:
  • Global Dignity:

Contact me if you want a free sticker. T-Shirts are sold at, with proceeds going to

The Burden of the Responsible Man

In my downstairs hallway there is a picture titled “The Burden of the Responsible Man” by James C. Christensen that was purchased several years ago at an artist reception in West Jordan’s Gardner Village.  It’s a great image – the poor man’s face is resigned as he looks at the carrot placed before him by the brimful of people he carries; and the jangling keys on his waist are each a separate responsibility.  The artist has a different take than I do for what the picture portrays.  I bought it as a reminder that sometimes responsibility can overwhelm, and must be let go in order to find balance.

James Christensen’s The Burden of the Responsible Man. I look at this and can see myself.


I have a history of being that guy who says yes when asked to do something, often to the detriment of my family or self.  One of my realizations was how I allow my health to suffer by giving too little attention on diet, regular exercise and family or personal time.  I often think about this when I’m up early to work on one thing (when I could be putting on running shoes), or working late (when I should be getting some sleep).  There are causes that I care much about, and I value opportunities to improve things where I find I am able to do so.  But it shouldn’t be at the sacrifice of health and happiness.

Christensen’s view was that burdens were really blessings and challenges necessary for growth. Although I think that true growth is found through acts of selflessness, I also think there is a foundation that must be maintained for personal health and happiness.  For people like me the hard decision is learning to say no to others, because I absolutely hate saying no. I hate feeling like I’m not helping someone, especially when I have been asked to help. But the reality is that I may be denying myself if I don’t.  One of the goals I have is to simplify my life by becoming responsible for less, and that means saying no more often.

It’s also important to make time for myself, and to defend that time.  Get rest, eat right, be active.  That’s my commitment, and it’s going to take one thing I need better control of: how I invest my personal time.

Metaphorically speaking, I’m taking the hat off, and turning in the keys.  And to hell with their carrot.  I’ll get my own.