Cody’s mental health story started when he was admitted to the hospital with depression and anxiety on April 3rd, 2016. It became clear to our family that we needed to research mental health and become better aware of what that entails. Cody believed that concussions from years of wrestling played a big part in his depression and anxiety. Mental health is something that doesn’t just go away. Mental health is something that worked daily by those who suffer from it; it is something that family and friends need to research and learn about, so they can help their loved one’s cope. There is no easy fix and no two people suffer the same way. Cody was strong. Cody was a fighter. Sadly, at just 20 years old, Cody was unable to fight any longer. On October 20th, 2017 Cody died by suicide and our lives have been forever changed.
With the loss of our son came an overwhelming need to fight like Cody did. We need to do everything in our power to help prevent even just one family from going through what our family has. We need to do more research, to get the community more aware, to provide more resources, to start more conversations- to Stop the Silence. With the death of our dear son became the beginning of The Cody Shepperd Project. We are hoping to make him proud, and we hope you will join us in this effort.
Cody spent two months at Homewood in Guelph, during that time not one doctor spoke to our family on educating ourselves on this illness that had affected our son. I researched, do not get me wrong, but I was not searching in the right areas. I truly did not know where to start.
It was not until after Cody passed that I heard about SafeTalk and ASIST through LivingWorks. I have since taken both the SafeTalk and ASIST training. We started the Cody Shepperd Project and have reached out to like-minded people in our community that want to bring more awareness and resources to Center Wellington and surrounding areas.
Center Wellington lost 6 males and 3 females in the weeks and months following Cody’s death, in the last 3 weeks we have lost two more beautiful souls to suicide. We are a community in crisis, and we need to do something, something more. On September 9th, 2018 We hosted the First Cody Shepperd Project Memorial Golf Tournament where we successfully raised $30,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Center Wellington, which will go to support the new local “HUB” for our youth in CW.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Centre Wellington is spearheading the creation of a hub of like-minded services from both the for profit and not for profit sectors. There will be 6-8 organizations that will all serve youth from different perspectives including physical health, mental health, counselling and mentoring services and more. Programs for youth will happen in this space and ultimately the goal is that youth can come to this hub to be treated, grow, gain volunteer hours, be involved and feel meaningfully engaged and connected to a community. We know this is not the answer to everything, but it is a start for a community in need.
Together, we can stop the Silence