ABOUT ANDY RIGGS
Why I do this...
In the early morning hours of July 2017, I received a phone call from my mother. My mother never calls me at 4:00 in the morning before work. I had literally just backed out of my garage. “Uncle Rick is gone.” She said to me. I sat there, with my foot on the brake, car in reverse, stunned and speechless. “It sounds like he did it to himself”, she added.
Wait. What!? My Uncle? The same happy, joyful, humorous Uncle Rick who used to call us all on our birthdays with his SPOT ON Donald Duck impression? The man who was ALWAYS the life of family get-togethers? The man who I once saw as a father-like figure when my real father left at the age of two? The man who on the outside seemed to have everything going for him; Beautiful wife, three amazingly talented smart kids, Executive level job at a bank, successful in so many ways?
I had so many questions. How did someone who appeared to have so much going right, die by his own hand, and how did it go unchecked? Was this out of the blue? I guess I never really thought to ask if my Uncle Rick was okay, because I always assumed that he was...on the outside.
What made matters worse, is I witnessed first-hand the suicide / mental health stigma in action. My own family was in denial about the way he had died, even though it was undeniable. They refused to accept that he had ended his own life.
I vowed to do everything in my power, using my voice on a public platform (radio) to speak openly and do my part to END this stigma. Get people talking. Letting out their emotions and expressing their feelings, so that nobody would ever have to get to the point where my Uncle Rick had gotten on the inside. I wanted to listen. I wanted to learn. I didn’t want anyone to have to suffer in silence.
I found and eventually led a support group for survivors of suicide loss, and discovered the power of group / talk therapy. Being with someone who has walked the same walk as you, listens without judging, and truly cares.
The power of talk really can save lives.
I'm here to listen.
Let’s talk about YOUR mental health.
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