On July 30, 2012, we lost Jacob Robert Sikel at the age of 15 to suicide. He was an incredible young man with a bright future whose life was lost far too early.
Two days after we lost Jacob, his Father, Robert, and Aunt Darcy were sitting at the table when Darcy asked "What can I do to help you?"
Robert's answer was one similar to many other families that have experienced this type of loss: "I don't know, but I do know that I never want another family to go through this." A simple Google search on suicide prevention got the ball rolling and Jacob's family began making their plan to spread their very important message..."It's OK to ask for help."
By October of 2012, several members of our family drove to Westminster, CO and completed the suicide prevention training program offered by the Yellow Ribbon Society and upon our return, we began speaking in Minnesota schools, community and church groups.
All these years later, much has changed in the world and even with our group, but we are still hard at work spreading this very important message. We have some well established traditions that are supported by many in our community, we've conducted hundreds of training sessions, and we even look a little different now since we have adopted the national symbol for suicide prevention which is the teal and purple ribbon.
Suicide knows no age, race, gender, and has no boundaries, and neither do we. Open Arms Suicide Prevention Program is an established 501 C-3 non-profit organization.