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*Strong Trigger Warning

In this episode, we talk about suicide which may be alarming to some listeners. If you are in crisis or having thoughts of suicide, please end this podcast and call 1-800-SUICIDE or visit to chat with someone online..

In This Episode:

  • Right place, right time: the non-coincidental way Reese and JennyQ met
  • The steadfast support from a best friend and his best friend’s wife
  • A chance encounter with Senator Ted Kennedy
  • Advocating for funding for certified crisis and suicide hotlines
  • The patient centered concepts used by I’m Alive
  • What being seen means to Reese
  • Meeting the Dalai Lama

Quotations From This Episode:

“When you share your pain, your walk, with another person or with a group, it then gives that person or that group permission to share theirs with you.” ~Reese Butler

“It’s really important what you do when nobody’s watching, that’s actually more important than what you’re doing.” ~Reese Butler

“Everybody pretty much has all of the tools and knowledge within them, to help themselves fix themselves.” ~Reese Butler

“But when you’re in a crisis, just because you have the roadmap, and you have the toolbox, doesn’t mean you can access it or pay attention to it.” ~Reese Butler

“[I’mAlive] is non-judgmental. We don’t see people as a gender, we don’t see people as a race.” ~Reese Butler

“Safety is vital for being seen. And being vulnerable.” ~JennyQ

“In the truest sense [being seen] would be who my true self is, that I know who I am. And that somebody else sees that.” ~Reese Butler

“In our digital world, people can just put forward anything they want to, you know, for image.” ~JennyQ

“It’s sad that people can’t be themselves without there being a repercussion or perceived repercussion.” ~Reese Butler


After losing his wife, Kristin Brooks Rossell, to suicide on April 7th 1998, Reese founded the Kristin Brooks Hope Center and the National Hopeline Network 1.800.SUICIDE. Since 1998 when Reese turned his focus to the prevention of suicide, he has helped launch several other organizations: the National Council For Suicide Prevention, the California Suicide Prevention Advocacy Network (CASPAN), and the Virginia Suicide Prevention Council. Due to Reese’s vision and the National Hopeline Network’s use of cutting edge telephony technology, the Kristin Brooks Hope Center became a recipient of the prestigious 2002 A Search for New Heroes Award, the Computerworld Honors Program’s Online Archive of information technology innovation. 

Reese continues advancing the cause of suicide prevention by developing and improving existing suicide prevention programs and erasing mental health stigma and spreading the message of help and hope. Reese has been invited to over 200 college campuses to present his Alive Mental Health Fair and keynote speech on Hope and the Miracles that brought 800-SUICIDE into existence.



Twitter: @_IMAlive

Instagram: @ImAliveChatline


Call 211 – the community resource for everybody in America pretty much anywhere

Call 1-800-SUICIDE (1800784-2433)