To Write Love On Her Arms
“Pedro the Lion is loud in the speakers, and the city waits just outside our open windows. She sits and sings, legs crossed in the passenger seat, her pretty voice hiding in the volume. Music is a safe place and Pedro is her favorite. It hits me that she won't see this skyline for several weeks, and we will be without her. I lean forward, knowing this will be written, and I ask what she'd say if her story had an audience. She smiles. ‘Tell them to look up. Tell them to remember the stars.’” This is the beginning of the story that kicked off the organization To Write Love On Her Arms. To Write Love On Her Arms is a non-profit organization who’s vision is to help people with problems such as, drug abuse, depression, and addiction, get the help they need from rehab centers and counselors.
Each year only ten percent of Americans get the help they need for alcohol and drug addiction. Four percent of the United States population suffers from self-injury. Self-injury is more than “cutting.” It is thought to be a coping method; a way to turn the emotional pain into something physical; aiming to make the pain something bearable at the time. Depression, by definition, is a condition of general emotional dejection and withdrawal. 121 million people world wide suffer from depression. 18 million of those people are in the US alone. Two thirds of those people never get the help they need. Among teenagers, approximately 20 percent will suffer from depression at some point in their life time. It is estimated that one million people die from suicide every year. That is one death every forty seconds. That number is approximated to increase by 2020 to one death every 20 seconds. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among people our age to age 44. Youth suicide is increasing at the greatest rate. Males are four times more likely to die from suicide; however, females are more likely to attempt.
To Write Love On Her Arms was founded by Jamie Tworkowski in March of 2006. TWLOHA aims to connect people with rehab facilitations and counselors. But most of all, they want to inspire, to create hope within a person. The organization exists solely to be a first step into the bright world of recovery.
TWLOHA is a work in progress. It began with one story, one girl, one night. The organization is becoming something more, something powerful and hopeful. The story Jamie wrote, was the story of a girl, Renee Yohe. Her story is one of pain, addiction, depression; her story of seeking help, finding friends. The organization received great exposure, receiving messages from supporters with their own stories to share. Exposure started with t-shirts sold in Hot Topic stores, and endorsements from bands. Bands such as Mayday Parade, Switchfoot, Paramore, Anberlin, Panic At The Disco, and Underoath started wearing the shirts, and even writing songs about Yohe.
To Write Love On Her Arms started with one girl, and grew to be an international organization dedicated to helping others. From depression to addiction and everything in between, Jamie Tworkowski founded To Write Love On Her Arms to help others get the help and encouragement they need. What started with a story, grew by the help of friends, followers, and bands wearing the shirts, spreading the name of the foundation. “The vision is people finding life, finding freedom, finding love. The vision is a graduation, a Super Bowl, a wedding, a child, a sunrise. The vision is people becoming incredible parents, people breaking cycles, people making change.”
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