William, Cycle2Rise Founder
Design | Marketing

Our Stories: Crisis Unanswered, William Brown, Cycle2Rise Founder

William Brown founded Cycle2Rise as he imagines a world where no call for help goes unanswered. His experiences with personal loss of family and friends help drive his desire to create an organization that answers that need while raising awareness and sharing the countless resources that exist for those seeking direction and assistance when in personal crisis. Below is the story William shares regarding his motivation to initiate the Cycle2Rise organization.

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Looking at a facebook post and I am mortified, as I read 16 messages from a young woman reaching out for support and struggling to get connected to a suicide specialist. In her post, she mentions that she’s tried a total of 16 times. I know she never made the 17th call because she inevitably took her own life. 

Personally, I have mourned the loss of six family members and a handful of friends I’ve lost to suicide. I used to be the person that swept these losses under the rug thinking if I ignored my grief, it would go away. 

In November of 2017, I got a call from my business partner informing me that his wife’s 15 year old brother had taken his own life. This young man lived in my community in Colorado. I made some calls to my family and realized in a moment how small the world can seem. I found out he was one of my youngest daughters best friends.

I sat back in a helpless state for the next few weeks as I witnessed the ripples of this young mans decision. I could no longer ignore the grief. I felt the grief as I watched the affect it had on my daughter and the entire community. And I finally felt the grief that I ignored when my close cousin took his life (he was like a brother to me). Then the questions started. I started blaming myself all over again for what had transpired. I questioned, “what else could I have done”?

Soon after, I chose to take on one of the scariest conversations I have ever initiated. I asked my children if they had ever or were currently thinking about suicide. I had no way of knowing the impact of this conversation then and how its impact continues today. We all learned the importance of open communication surrounding mental wellbeing and suicide.

I started considering how I could contribute to the world of mental wellness and suicide prevention by helping others discover and navigate the multitude of programs that exist to support people in almost every facet of mental wellbeing and suicide prevention. Many of these programs have people who are trained to help you in a time of need.

So, with the help of a dedicated team of volunteers, we’ve created Cycle2Rise as a resource collection site that gets people more familiar, quickly, when they are seeking direction during a mental health challenge, suicide crisis or, even, for everyday wellness opportunities. By creating engaging challenges, we are excited to create awareness through fun!

Our first challenge, Cycle2Rise, allows you to show your support by riding (road, mountain, recreational) for mental wellbeing and suicide awareness. We also ask that you stay tuned for more fun and engaging challenges to come as we continue on our journey.

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Cycle2Rise is a component of our parent organization, GivingLife2Life, which will soon be a non-profit group dedicated to creating awareness around resources for mental wellbeing, suicide prevention and survivors of suicide. Please check back with us often for updates. Wishing you health and wellness today and every day.