Sisters Taking On the Prevention of Suicide
Founding Board Members
Andrea Mustin Founder & President
I stand up for Eric Dublon Wright, my former husband who lived with bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, and anxiety. The man who was my soul mate of 20 years died by suicide on December 2, 2013, and I didn’t see it coming.
A few months after Eric’s death, by the grace of God, I moved from West Houston to North Dallas to be closer to family. I had the opportunity to meet and make new friends through relatives, volunteer work, social gatherings, and local businesses.
I shared Eric’s story with my new and close female friends, and was astonished by their sympathetic reactions and honest and secretive disclosures – 100% of my new friends had experienced bouts of depression or anxiety, lived with someone who has experienced severe episodes of mania or depression, or knew someone who lived with a mental health challenge or disorder, and I didn’t know what to tell them.
Suicide is not an issue that affected only my family, but other families in our city, state and across the country. To this day, I continue to meet women who are either directly or indirectly affected by mental health challenges. Once they hear Eric’s story, they can’t help but share theirs.
I became involved in the suicide prevention movement because I want to increase mental health awareness and help stop the stigma of mental illness. I want to redeem the value of Eric’s life and other lives lost by suicide by equipping women with the knowledge and skills needed to help prevent suicide, and save lives in their communities. The end of Eric’s life was not the end of his story, for Sisters Taking On the Prevention of Suicide (STOPS) was born through him. To God be the glory! Thank you, LORD Jesus!
Tonya Striplin Vice President & Secretary
While we are compassionate of others when hard times hit, it really resonates when hard times hit home. Mental illness found its way to my home in 2013 with the shocking loss of my dear brother in-law and witnessing my sister piece her life back together. Since then, my family has been impacted after painfully learning of adolescent friends who were diagnosed with depression. In addition, I have a friend who lost her son to suicide while he was away at college. As a parent, witnessing your child endure any pain is incredibly difficult, but losing a child must be outright devastating.
Being a person filled with hope, it deeply saddened me to think of others who had none, and felt suicide was their only alternative. However, since mental illness has begun to take up residency in my home, I’ve become more educated about it. I’ve realized suicide is just that, the result of an illness, and the power of the illness can be simply overwhelming.
Despite this, my hope remains steadfast and my prayer, by joining this suicide prevention movement, is to find ways to more effectively treat mental illness, educate the public about it so that they too can be more compassionate and get involved, and to provide coping strategies for friends and family members of loved ones who are living with or lost, to mental illness.
Together, let’s put a STOP to suicide.
Ergieleena Teasley Ergieleena Teasley
I stand up for my distant cousin, who at the age of 22, died by suicide. I stand up for my dear brother-in-law, who lost his life to suicide in 2013. I stand up for my close relative who had thoughts of taking their life in 2016 and was subsequently diagnosed with major depressive disorder. I stand up for another close relative, who recently shared their thoughts of suicide and continues to exhibit signs of depression and anxiety. While the road has been far from easy, I am still standing. I stand up for mental health.
In dire need of help, I joined the mental health awareness movement after learning of my relatives’ illnesses. I needed to understand what they were going through and how best to support them. In the process, I began to experience compassion fatigue and needed guidance, direction, and encouragement from others who had experienced what I was going through. I needed to be in the company of someone just like me, a woman who has or had a loved one, living with mental illness. I needed Sisters Taking On the Prevention of Suicide (STOPS.)
It is through STOPS that I am able to understand my relative’s mental illness and support them on their road to recovery.
It is through STOPS that I am able to know when and how to step in and offer support to my other close relative, as they gradually come to terms with their undiagnosed mental health condition.
It is through STOPS that I have learned that I am not alone and have regained my emotional strength and energy.
It is through STOPS that I am effectively informed, engaged, and connected in the mental health movement.
My experience with STOPS has been invaluable and has helped me to keep standing.
I stand up for mental health. STOPS stands up for mental health. And it is our hope that YOU will stand up, for mental health too.
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance