About Project Holding Hope

On September 5, 2017, my family became a statistic. We became one of 22 families that lost a Veteran family member to suicide that day.

My 26 year old son, Adam Harrell, decided that Valhalla was his only option for peace. Adam had been a Paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne for six years and had only been back in the civilian world for two and half months. We were then and still are devastated. We knew he was struggling but did not know just how hard life had become for him. I personally was convinced that once he got home, he would find his way. With our help, of course. I was wrong. And I still struggle with that every single day.

Project Holding Hope - There is Honor in Help (logo of non profit organization that helps support military veterans to prevent suicide and/or self harm)
There is Honor in Help!

It became quite apparent early on this path of grief, that I had a decision to make for myself. I could be a victim or I could be a survivor. I decided to be a survivor. It has taken awhile but I finally feel that I am standing on solid ground. I have so many people to thank for that! Family, friends and other non-profit groups that stepped in to help me understand that my life is just as precious as Adam’s life and that I could still find peace and help others in the process of finding that peace.

Now it is time for me to give back or pay it forward or whatever you want to call it. A chance to help other people that are struggling like my family. I have taken the last five years to learn everything that I can about suicide, suicide prevention and suicide postvention. I have participated in support groups, taken online courses locally and even internationally. In one of these classes, we reviewed a study from Cornell University titled Strategies to Stay Alive: Adaptive Toolboxes for Living Well with Suicidal Behavior. One of the key themes in the study found that people who live through and with suicidal behavior typically go through 4 stages:

  • Fighting for Life
  • Ambivalence
  • Acceptance
  • Finding and Holding Hope

That last stage, Holding Hope, is where I am right now and the inspiration behind our name. So, with help from my husband, Jimmy Brown and brother, Kevin Harrell, along with a pretty awesome Board of Directors consisting of Veterans and civilians—all who have experienced a loss due to suicide—we have formed Project Holding Hope.

I hope that you will support us and our mission to help Veterans and those that love them.