If you or a loved one are struggling with thoughts of suicide, call or text 988 to reach the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.

Greetings!

Since we’re going to be starting a conversation, I thought it would be a good idea to introduce myself. I’m Ginny Gardea, Smile Advocate and first-time blogger. Beginning in May you’ll hear from me on topics concerning mental and physical wellness, mindfulness of others and of course, suicide prevention.

I live in the Willamette Valley in Oregon, wine capital of the Pacific Northwest. My husband and I have two teenagers, a temperamental cat and my best canine companion, Gypsy, who you’ll meet soon. I came to know Smiles for Jake through some good friends who both support and run the organization.

Like so many of us, our lives have been forever changed by the loss of a loved one. In November of 2023, my beautiful mother lost her war with anxiety and depression by taking her life. Her mother also died by suicide decades ago. I refuse to make this my legacy. I’m taking a stand. And it starts with a conversation.

Let’s talk about how we eradicate the stigma surrounding mental health. Let’s really listen to one another. Let’s ask the hard questions that clear the path for honest answers. Let’s start a narrative that changes the course of history so that we never lose a loved one to suicide again.

I’m looking forward to talking to you!

Smile On!
Ginny