A note from our CEO, David Kopp:
Healthline is committed to making a difference in mental health because we know the impact it can have. In 2018, one of our executives took his own life. A big contributor to our success, Jake Boos was beloved. Losing a friend this way was doubly hard because we only knew of his pain when it was too late. Our society stigmatizes vulnerability. But we all need help.
To honor Jake’s legacy, we are partnering with To Write Love on Her Arms, a suicide prevention organization. Together, we will raise money to cover the cost of counseling and increase awareness of mental health issues across all communities in order to save lives.
Healthline will match up to $10,000 in donations for this cause.
Can’t give financially right now? There are other ways that you can help! Keep reading to learn more.
This is a story you hope you never have to tell. It’s a story of love and loss and confusion and pain. It’s the story of Jake and those who knew and cared about him, who were inspired by him, and who have been left behind feeling heartbroken and angry and wondering what they might have done differently.
It’s a story about suicide.
Ask anyone who knew Jake, and they’ll tell you a story about how Jake made them feel — special, cared for, heard, understood, included. Jake remembered the little, important things like the fact that your son just played in an important game, or that you were planning to go home for the holidays and how hard that would be for you. Jake saw people, really saw them. Once, when a coworker was secretly feeling overwhelmed and ready to quit, Jake noticed a change, made time to sit down and ask what was going on, and then helped develop a plan to make things work so they could stay.
We’ve all known people who walk into a room and cause the energy to change, who send out subtle ripples of calming support. Maybe they’re our kid’s coach or we serve together in a charity. Maybe we sit next to them at meetings, share a break room, or collaborate together. Jake was one of those people.
He was a husband, father, friend. He coached his kids’ sports teams and still took trips with close friends he’d had since high school. But he also had a way of making new friends of those who crossed his path.
For so many at Healthline, Jake had become a lifelong friend.
Then, a few days before Christmas, weeks after the death of one of his best friends, Jake decided he could no longer endure the pain he suffered privately, and he took his own life. In a company whose motto is “Building a stronger, healthier world,” no one saw it coming. No one knew of Jake’s hidden anguish. He hadn’t told a soul. The tsunami of that one action tore through his family and friends, leaving their worlds forever cleft into the time before and the time after.
For those who loved him at Healthline, the loss of Jake has left them questioning how they missed the signs. But what if there are no signs? What if you can’t tell? What if it’s just too hard to say the words — to ask for help? Jake left messages behind. One message was for his Healthline family. He asked us to increase our focus on mental health. Jake wanted us to use Healthline to help remove the stigma, the fears, the things that make it so hard to ask for help when our mental health is challenged, when the wound is emotional but the danger is just as real.
How can we do what Healthline CEO, David Kopp, urged: make seeing a therapist like getting a physical or eating a healthy breakfast — a proactive investment in our health? What’s keeping us from creating a place for people to say I’m not doing so well? What do you do when it’s your job to tell the stories? You tell it, no matter how hard. You wipe away the tears, share the pain, and hope that in sharing your loss, you might be able to prevent one more story from ending the way Jake’s did. You do that magical thing that Jake did for so many others: offer them hope, acknowledge their value and importance, and inspire them to hang on one more day.
Please help us take our loss and use it to make a difference. The world needs more Jakes in it — the world needs more people like you in it.
There are several ways you can help someone find the support they need. You can purchase this T-shirt or donate directly to TWLOHA. All proceeds will be used to help connect 150 people to free and reduced-cost mental health services, bring life-saving conversations to 195 events, promote TWLOHA resources, and help 10 people sit with a counselor for the first time. If you act today, your donation will have double the impact. Healthline has pledged to match every T-shirt purchase or donation up to $10,000, so your gift will help even more people find the support they need today.
At Healthline we are determined that Jake’s story won’t end with his death. As we act on his last words of encouragement to us, we are committed to continuing his legacy of kindness, of seeing people, reaching out, and helping them find a way forward.