Let the conversation begin.
Hope Xchange Nonprofit for Bipolars is Proud to Introduce Our Guiding Light, Suicide Prevention Advocate Barbara Franks, Neech Tlaa, Mother of the Shoreline, Tlingit (Raven/Coho)
I am honored and humbled to welcome the newest addition to the Hope Xchange Nonprofit team, Barbara Franks, who we call our Guiding Light. After losing her 23 year old son to suicide in 1997, Barbara has become an outspoken and internationally-recognized suicide prevention and mental health advocate, leading the fight against suicide in Alaska.
Like me, she is also an Aquarius and shares my vision that, if we as a society stand together, we can rebuild our communities on a foundation of compassion and caring by bringing back "help thy neighbor," renewing life purpose for our most vulnerable and socially isolated, restoring hope for us all, and preventing far too many precious souls from leaving us far too soon.
Her remaining son is her light to reach for the sky so he knows he did not lose his mother after losing his brother and father. And, she is now our light.
"I want the world free of a carpet on the floor, too many secrets and hurt were hid under along with the shame, I want a wood floor!" - Barbara Franks
About Barbara Franks - Her Personal Story
In a matter of two days, lives were changed. Our family of four became a family of two: my husband by cancer on 12/16/97 fighting for his last breath, and our youngest son purposely taking his own life on 12/14/97 at 23 years of age.
The year was a time that was filled with the stigma and taboo that still exists today 20 years later. As a survivor, I believe that we are armed with the knowledge of the unknown. I advocate that the "lived experience" is crucial.
The last seven years of my healing journey include being on the Governor's Statewide Suicide Prevention Council, member of the Alaska Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, seat on the Alaska Psychiatric Institute. As a Master Trainer on safeTALK and a Consulting Trainer, I also consult to several entities with missions in line with my vision for this world, a vision I share with Kerry Martin, Founder of Hope Xchange Nonprofit.
Barbara Franks has garnered international exposure through her public presentations and as a panelist. Amongst other notable accomplishments, Barbara: