After losing their 16 year old son T.J. to suicide, Steve and Wendy Sefcik found it helpful to immerse themselves in learning everything they could about teen depression and suicide. They have been open in talking about what they experienced with their son in the hopes of preventing this tragedy from befalling another family. When they were asked to speak on a panel for parents who lost children and there was so much interest in T.J.’s story that our program, Remembering T.J.—A Story of Teen Depression, Lessons and Hope was born.
Along with their son Matt they began presenting in schools, colleges, community events, and corporate lunch-and-learns to raise awareness of the importance of taking care of your mental health and to be aware of suicide risk factors in teens. Since its inception they have presented to over 20,000 students, parents, educators and mental health professionals. The program weaves their family’s story in with the red flags of teen depression and suicide risk. It provides guidance of what to do when you or someone you care about may be struggling. The program also gives hope by sharing examples of people who have struggled with depression and have gone on to lead productive, full lives. They also offer suggestions of where to turn for help.
This remarkable family believes that raising awareness and sharing insights with educators, parents and children can greatly reduce the senseless loss of life from suicide. While suicide remains a leading cause of death in this country, it is totally preventable. No lives should be lost to suicide.
The Oradell Stigma Free Committee is proud to bring this presentation to you free of charge in an effort to further our mission to end the stigma of mental illness. We are dedicated to raising awareness of the disease of mental illness and create a culture wherein residents who have the disease feel supported by their community and neighbors and feel free to seek treatment without fear of stigma. To learn more about the Oradell Stigma Free Committee please contact Julia Orlando at [email protected] and check out our Facebook Page the Oradell Stigma Free Community.
2021 Committee Members - all are annual appointments
Mayor Dianne Didio
Dsgt, Marc Fedorchak
Nicole Chiarello Alverez