Andrea Poisso said when she saw that today was “National Compliment Day” she was excited because that is what Hope4Winn is all about emphasizes kindness and giving compliments to others to help them feel better about themselves. There have been a lot of losses in our community in the last 3 – 4 years, young and old, as a result of suicide. Mrs. Poisso told the story of her son who took his life in March of 2020. She said she was fortunate because her son did talk to her about his problems and she did all she could to get him help. Some parents are blindsided because they have no idea something is wrong. After his death due to something on his phone they realized that he was battling with a demon. The psychiatrist told her that the week before he died he had said that he was hearing voices. After wallowing in pity for several months Mrs. Poisso realized that she had to do something to help this problem. A suicide survivor came in to the schools and shared her story with the students. The goal for Hope4Winn is to get students involved. Mrs. Poisso has become someone the students can talk to if they are facing problems with the knowledge that if she sees a red flag she will talk to their parents. She was also interviewed for a documentary about suicide awareness. One issue is that there are no mental health counselors in the schools but the legislature passed a law mandating mental health counselors in schools probably starting in 2024.
Mrs. Poisso brought with her 2 students Jaci Mixon and Breanna Prey who spoke about their issues with depression and anxiety. Jaci is a senior and Breanna is a sophomore. They are posting weekly videos on YouTube on mental health and their faith. The videos are found as Talks with Jaci and Breanna. They also have a facebook page JaciandBreanna Mixon Prey.
Hope4Winn has a facebook page. They are also working on their 501C3 status.
Suicide awareness is an important issue and we appreciate Mrs. Poisso’s willingness to share her story with the Kiwanis club.