“I don’t know you and I don’t know your story, but I was you.” – By Leah Nelson

By Leah Nelson, Program Manager, Jordan Porco Foundation

“Helping one person might not change the whole world, but it could change the world for one person.”

Watching rates of young adult depression, anxiety, and suicide continue to rise has been difficult to watch. It has been especially difficult watching rates climb while I and so many others have dedicated our passion and careers to suicide prevention. It can often feel like we’re not even close to chipping away at this major public health crisis that’s literally killing people of all ages every single day. But other days, we get anonymous messages like this that confirm what we do is indeed making a difference:

“I suffer from depression and was thinking about cutting again yesterday, but I didn’t. I had no idea Fresh Check Day was a thing and I just walked into the event today. I’m so happy I did because I am feeling a lot better today because of it. You never know who is suffering silently and things like this make life a whole lot better. Thank you for making Fresh Check Day an event because it is really great.”

To the anonymous student who was brave enough to share this message:

I don’t know you and I don’t know your story, but I was you.

I, too, was once a college student struggling with depression and anxiety. I, too, battled the daily urge to injure myself. I walked around with a mask that said “I’m managing.” That mask came crashing down when I attempted suicide during my sophomore year of college.

I want you to know how brave you are for fighting.

I want you to know that you are not alone in your pain; others have been where you are and still others are where you are right this minute.

I want you to know that there is help and support and that the pain you experience now won’t stay this way forever.

I know how exhausting the daily struggle can be but I want you to know that you are WORTH the fight.

I’m so glad you found the light and hope you needed to make today better than yesterday. Hold that in your heart as if it were a capsule collecting these moments of your life as evidence that hope exists… That help is out there… That people care… That you are loved.

I want you to know that it’s ok to reach out over and over and over again. I’ve been in therapy most of my life and I still need to reach out to be reminded that I, too, have a capsule, a treasure trove in my heart, of evidence that I am worthy and strong… Evidence of all the hard days I have survived and all of the beautiful days I have lived.

I thank you for your courage and your honesty. It reminded ME that I am not alone. May you be reminded that YOU are not alone either.


If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also text HELLO to 741-741 for free, 24-hour support from the Crisis Text Line.

The opinions expressed in this blog are personal, and not those of the Jordan Porco Foundation. The information in this blog post is provided for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as mental health advice from the individual author or the Jordan Porco Foundation. You should consult a mental health professional for advice regarding your individual situation.