Difference Makers: Father wants to raise awareness, remove stigma of teen suicide with PMAC event

BATON ROUGE — Jordan Tabor said enduring a tragedy such as teen suicide within his family was something he never fathomed – until it happened.

Tabor said he lost his son Owen, to suicide in April 2023, two weeks before his 16th birthday and that loss prompted him to do something to help others who have dealt with similar traumatic events.

“Before we lost Owen, we had no idea just how prevalent suicide is, and statistically, in adolescents and young adults, it’s the second leading cause of death in Louisiana,” Tabor said. “Yet, you know, due to the stigma, no one is really talking about it. It’s truly an epidemic for our youth. It’s a silent killer.

“I had to find a way to transform my pain into a purpose, so I started Rain Will Bring Flowers Foundation, and our mission is to prevent student suicide by just raising awareness, and eliminating the stigma,” he added.

Tabor said he felt it was time to do something different since the status quo was not working for young kids and their struggles.

“We need to help our kids understand that they are not alone in their struggles and it’s okay not to be okay,” he said. “It’s okay to ask for help.”

Tabor said his foundation partnered with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) during AFSP’s Walk out of Darkness fundraising event in October. Tabor said AFSP holds the walks in a majority of the major cities across the country to raise awareness.

The Rain Will Bring Flowers Foundation signed up as a team and set records not only for the most participants, but also for the amount of money raised.

“We broke the national walker record. It was 1,200 people for another community walk and we actually had 1,500 people turn out,” he exclaimed. “We also broke the Louisiana fundraising record. We raised $50,000 for those walks. Previously, the record was $42,000.”

Tabor said the next event aimed at raising awareness is title Planting Seeds of Hope, which is set for Monday, January 29. His foundation has partnered with LSU Athletics, Our Lady of the Lake Hospital, The Mental Game, the Joe Burrow Foundation and others to host the event at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center (PMAC) on LSU’s campus.

A panel of athletes featuring former LSU football players Kevin Faulk and Delvin Breaux will discuss mental wellness along with an interactive Q&A.

To support the foundation, you can donate via their website and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

Need emergency emotional help or support?

In 2022, the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) launched the Louisiana 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. Louisiana residents can dial 988, if you or someone you know, is struggling with suicidal thoughts, substance abuse or other mental health challenges for immediate crisis support.

Call, text, or chat online with 988 to connect to a 988 specialist who can help. The Louisiana 988 specialists provide free, confidential support, 24 hours, seven days a week.

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