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Jerry Cook

“People who do seek help need to be supported rather than looked down upon. We need to help eliminate the stigma.” 
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City: Brandon, SD 

Age: 50

What is the story related to mental health, suicide, and/or resilience that you’d like to share?

My dad died by suicide just before my fifth birthday. My sister passed away in 2019, potentially suicide-related. I’ve spent most of my life learning, growing, and recovering from loss and suicide loss. 


What resources have helped you to address this challenge?

Family, friends, counseling / therapy, research and learning, volunteering & supporting the community, healthy hobbies, art, and music. 

Through doing lots of work on and for myself, I also co-founded MindBodyHeart Pathways with my wife, Dr. Michelle Cook, and we offer coaching, counseling, and psychiatry services in addition to ketamine-assisted psychotherapy. 



Think about the system that affects our mental health in our society, including aspects that are damaging to mental health and aspects of the system that improve mental health. Based on your experience, how might we improve that system to build resilience and better address the mental health needs of ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities?

Some of the major hurdles I see are limited access to mental health care and the quality of that care. Additionally, people who do seek help need to be supported rather than looked down upon…we need to help eliminate the stigma. We also need to move away from the thought that life is/should/will be free of challenges. Working through challenging times builds resiliency. 


What is one thing related to mental health, suicide, or resilience that you wish everyone could understand?

It’s okay to be vulnerable and reach out for help and be open to different types of help. 



In crisis?

Call or text 988.


The Lost&Found Association came to life in 2010 thanks to a team of soon-to-be college students committed to making a difference in the lives of peers struggling with depression and suicide.

Today, Lost&Found is a growing education and advocacy nonprofit that serves students on 15 college campuses, offering resilience-building programming and connecting students in need with support communities.