Sometimes life doesn't quite go as planned and when my brother of 15 years old decided to take his life... We didn't know how to react, what to do or how to feel... Complete devastation and horror swept through my family like a plague filled with unexplainable grief. Within hours of getting the life-altering news, first responder, Jackie Rosen, CEO of FISP walked through our doors with love, compassion and guidance. The butterfly on her shoulder gave me a glimpse of hope that we were going to make it through... That was almost five years ago. Since then, FISP has created and taken part in many events, seminars and initiatives that have changed the lives of countless people. With the intention of erasing the stigma on suicide and educating people on the importance of being aware of the signs of suicide, substance abuse and mental illness, people every where are receiving the help they need to survive. One of my favorite initiatives that FISP started is the HOPE Sunshine Clubs for middle and high school students. My brother's school was the first to have a HOPE Club and since then, more than 50% of high schools in Broward County have a HOPE Club. I myself am a high school teacher and it has been the perfect opportunity for me to help students that share the same feelings that my brother silently felt. I have the advantage to reach students at my school and provide them with a club that provides education on the importance of knowing the signs of suicide, how to help those in need and why we need to be kind to one another. I know this club has and will help more students then I will ever know, but in the end... The HOPE Club has also helped to save me. Thank you FISP for your relentless efforts and unwavering vision to help people who are suffering. Lots of LOVE to everyone at FISP, you have changed my life!
FISP has been a major force for help and healthy change since its inception due to the tireless efforts of all the volunteers who give their all to save lives. FISP has stood the test of time with careful well-designed programs and initiatives, never giving up and always striving to help more and more people.
FISP helps prevent suicides for all ages, has programs for survivors, and is one of the leading advocates in the State of Florida.
FISP's Survivor of Suicide Loss was my introduction to the organization. The event was well-organized and everyone was so warm, that I felt welcome to speak, for the first time, about my sister's death. The staff also guided me to a local support group, where meeting Rene and the others has been instrumental in healing my trauma. I have learned to accept the slow recovery and understand that there will always be a grief associated with losing my sister, but I feel better equipped to handle it and I feel loved and supported by the members of the support group and FISP.
FISP has the most extraordinary and dedicated Founders in Jackie and Harry Rosen. Their leadership makes everything run great.
I have been involved with the Florida Initiative for Suicide Prevention (FISP) for a number of years and in a number of capacities. I became involved because I lost my grandfather to suicide. I have served as a suicide survivor support group facilitator, a lecturer, and a board member. Throughout my diverse interactions with FISP, I have seen nothing but dedication to the cause of suicide prevention and post-vention techniques. The people of FISP care so deeply about the community, and want to help in as many diverse ways as possible, and their positive impact is readily apparent in the hearts and minds of all affected. Such a life-changing organization.
FISP is a wonderful organization. We became involved because our son took his life 19 months ago, and Jackie was there for us. They are dedicated to helping survivors of suicide, as well as educating, prevention program developments and research. They want to STOP SUICIDE, and provide help and support to those contemplating suicide.
I last reviewed FISP back in June, 2011. They've grown alot since then. Today their programs include school-age children and seniors and everyone inbetween. Their Hope Club program is for school aged children and deals with bullying, insecurities, fears confronted growing up, etc.They conduct seminars on Saving a Life. Also, Jackie Rosen, the CEO of FISP works with the police and fire departments in helping the officers with the very sensitive job of handling suicide. FISP is well-respected in the mental health area.
Having been a volunteer and board member of FISP for almost ten years it is a pleasure to share my thoughts and feelings about this wonderful organization. I will always remember the moment I was asked to become a board member. My eyes opened WIDE and I exclaimed, "Really?" My excitement stemmed from my highest regard for Jackie and Harry Rosen, the Principals of FISP. I could not easily grasp how they had overcome their sadness and grief in order to help others. That, in fact, is what Jackie and Harry are about: Helping Others.
And do they ever! Jackie will put in an 80 hour week and at the end quietly wonder, "Why am I so tired?" I don't know anyone quite like her, for not only does she put in the time, she possesses a disposition of empathy, kindness and understanding. Harry is the "Wind beneath our Wings." We look to him for "the word" for we all have tremendous respect for his knowledge and ability to "Talk softly...but carry a big stick" - Roosevelt. Harry can take two opposing sides and have them see each other's point in no time. Together Jackie and Harry Rosen are a win/win team! And I feel such pride to be on their team. It is an honor.
The goal of the Florida Initiative For Suicide Prevention is to stop suicide. This is done by providing support,education, advocacy referrals & research. FISP provides education to the Public by providing survivors support groups in Dade & Broward County, provide educational material at social service fairs, . Our HOPE CLUBS ( Helping To Overcome Problems Effectively are in 15 HighSchools & plans are to expand them to elementary schools. This is a 21 week program sponsored by a teacher where FISP provides a syllabus which includes stress management, anger management, date violence, substance abuse texting, communication skills, mental health & depression, problem solving skills. The goals of this club is to improve protective factors. Here students bring problems/situations to club members & shares. As a group the students try to resolve difficulties. Another education group that FISP provides is our SUN Program which is a 10 week problem solving group. This is provided at the DJJ, Senior Citizens Centers etc. The Executive Director provided Suicide Prevention Training to many agencies at no cost. FISP also sponsors a Survivors Day Conference to survivors at no cost.
I got involved with FISP as a suicide attempt survivor. Under the guidance of Jackie Rosen I have been inspired to help others who have or are struggling with depression and suicidal ideation. FISP is a fantastic organization that is committed saving lives!
Doug Russell - Events/Social Media