As the Founder of this concept, model, group, organisation, family and whatever other label people use to define us, I have to make one thing clear: the CAFB is truly my happy place. It's a space that was created so that nobody would feel unwanted, unappreciated or unable to achieve greatness. Speaking from experience, depression and anxiety are truly horrible, and impact upon every relationship, emotional and mental stability, self-esteem and so much more.
Contrary to popular belief, having wealth and intelligence doesn't make anyone immune, either. The reality is that today, more and more successful people are taking their own lives because they feel they don't fit in. Scour the headlines and you'll find the tragedy of top academic achievers who feel there is no other option than to simply not exist anymore.
Sure, I'm taking a risk by writing this blog post, but this is a topic so close to my heart and it's one I can personally relate to, and I need to tell you something. You're amazing. Do you know that? You're brilliant. You may not hear it enough, and you don't even need to know me, but if you ever feel like taking one last chance at life and you feel you have nowhere to go, we're here for you.
What I've learned, since beginning this journey in 2012, is that my happiness is more important and more fragile than anything else. By working with the most incredible team I could ever dream of, we're building a space in which everyone can actually share their hopes and dreams, find support and emotional safety and actually ask for assistance - nobody here is going to judge you. We've all been called freaks for some reason or the other, and now we're damn proud of that.
Being creative lets you breathe. And so many people take for granted, just how good it feels to have air fill your lungs without anything stressing you out mentally. Creativity distracts us from real world problems, gives us purpose, even if just for a fraction of a second, and can inspire people around us, too. Take this as an open invitation - you're welcome, anytime.
Want to do something worthwhile for suicide awareness? Join us. Know someone who needs a change of scenery or an escape? Join us. Bring that person with you. Let's actually grow the most awesome feeling of belonging somewhere, because copying and pasting words on your social profile doesn't actually save a life. Taking action does.