Grace for 2 Brothers Foundation: “We can change the stigma surrounding mental health and suicide”
Wyoming has the highest rate of gun suicides in the country.
“EveryStat for Gun Safety”. Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund. (2020). http://www.everytownresearch.org/everystat
Last updated: 1.21.2021
Wyoming has the highest rate of gun suicide in the country, making suicide prevention work essential to ending gun violence in the state. Grace for 2 Brothers Foundation, a Cheyenne, Wyoming-based organization, champions suicide prevention through awareness and education.
“Some folks are reluctant to talk about gun issues in Wyoming,” Beth Howard, Wyoming Chapter Lead and Cheyenne, WY Local Group Lead with Moms Demand Action, said. “Partnerships help to amplify and spread our message of gun safety.”
Grace for 2 Brothers Foundation provides resources and information to those who know someone in crisis, those who are currently in crisis, and to caregivers and survivors of suicide loss. They distribute firearm locks, facilitate grief support groups and Local Outreach to Survivors of Suicide support groups, and more. Through an annual charity run, Brothers’ Walk of Grace, the foundation also creates a space for remembrance of those lost to suicide, and in support of those who continue on.
“Suicide prevention is close to my heart because of my own struggles late in my military career and in the transition from active duty to the civilian sector,” Jeremy Bay, Executive Director of Grace for 2 Brothers Foundation, said. “I am also passionate about suicide prevention and gun safety because it breaks my heart that a state so small has the highest rate of gun suicide in the country.”
Bay grew up in Cheyenne, WY, and returned here after retiring from the U.S. Navy. Through his personal experiences, he shares the importance of suicide prevention awareness in his community and beyond. As executive director, he leads the foundation and provides guidance on program development and training strategies, and fosters relationships with partners and organizations whose missions overlap with that of Grace for 2 Brothers.
“Grace for 2 Brothers Foundation is a long-time leader in the work of suicide prevention and awareness in Wyoming,” Howard said. “If we are to make a difference on this issue, we need a strong partner who has been doing this work for years. They are a well respected and trusted organization.”
The foundation has been a long-time collaborator with the Wyoming Moms Demand Action chapter. Through this partnership, Grace for 2 Brothers has distributed Be SMART information on secure gun storage during gun lock and safe distribution events, spoken at events including Wear Orange, and trained even more individuals on suicide prevention through an event at a public library.
“They work hard to teach others how to recognize the signs which often precede suicide and to give them the language to address it and strategies for getting help for those who need it,” Howard said.
Bay hopes that through Grace for 2 Brothers Foundation, he can continue to raise awareness about suicide prevention and support Wyoming’s business owners, community members, and community leadership with suicide prevention skills and strategies to make for safer communities.
“Each and every time I meet someone, whether privately or through an organization who is committed to suicide prevention, it is always exciting and memorable,” Bay said. “I am motivated to continue this work because I believe that we can change the stigma surrounding mental health and suicide. But change doesn’t happen quickly, so sticking to it is crucial to change.”
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