Host Jeremy C. Park talks with ChangeMakers, Tom and Ellen Harris, Co-Founders of The Jordan Elizabeth Harris Foundation, who share their story of meeting in college, living in Massachusetts and moving to Texas, starting their family, getting involved in the community and playing an important role in the development of Ft. Worth with Tom’s role as an executive with Hillwood, A Perot Company. Tom and Ellen talk about their family and about launching the foundation that is working to prevent suicide, eliminate stigma, and provide hope to people struggling with depression.
The Jordan Elizabeth Harris Foundation, which is based in Ft. Worth, Texas, was created to honor the life of their daughter, who was lost to suicide on March 27, 2012. Jordan was a young woman who touched countless people with her extraordinary love, compassion and kindness, and the foundation carries forward her passion of helping those in need by focusing on research and awareness related to depression and suicide.
During the interview, Tom and Ellen talk about Jordan and the foundation, their programs and impact. They highlight Hope Squad, a school-based peer support program that empowers students to take action to prevent suicide through a partnership with their local mental health agency. The program has grown to be active in 110 schools across the North Texas area with plans to expand it further in the future. They discuss QPR (Question, Persuade, and Refer) suicide prevention training and the importance of equipping everyone in our communities with the confidence and competence to help someone at risk for suicide. They offer tips and also ways people can support their efforts, like with their upcoming Light the Trail Ride, which takes place between October 1-15, 2022, and is designed to blaze a train of hope and spread awareness about the prevalence of mental health issues in our society. The bicycle ride will light the trail from the Canadian Border to the Gulf of Mexico, along the Mississippi River. It will feature teams of 4 riders, who will each ride an average of 48 miles per day, with featured stops along the way, including Memphis, Tennessee.
This episode is sponsored by Higginbotham.